12 Jun 2012
Examples of co-operation between Finland and Karelia in the field of social welfare and health care are presented at the XII Karelian Medical Conference in Petrozavodsk on Wednesday and Thursday. Prevention of non-communicable diseases, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and work against alcohol, tobacco and drugs are among the topics of the Finnish and Russian keynote speakers in the conference.
The Karelian Medical Conference is organised approximately every two years to review experiences and health promotion plans on both sides of the border.
”The co-operation has given us important comparative data on health issues in Karelia, Finland and Russia. Many studies, such as the comparative allergy studies in recent years, have been important both scientifically and in terms of allergy prevention,” says Professor Pekka Puska, Director-General of THL, commending the Karelian co-operation partners. On the eve of the conference, Puska also stressed that it is very much in the Finnish national interest to monitor health conditions in Karelia and Russia and seek co-operation in the field.
The latest data from Karelia and the whole of Russia indicate that public health in Russia has improved somewhat in recent years, although great challenges remain. At the conference, Professor Sergey Boytsov, Director of the National Research Center for Preventive Medicine in Russia, discusses the latest public health figures and challenges in Russia. Alcohol plays a key role in public health on both sides of the border.
As the new head of Karelia, Aleksandr Hudilainen is expected to define future development of the Republic’s health policy. Hudilainen gives the Russian opening speech at the conference.
The co-operation between Finland and Karelia, ignited by the disintegration of the Soviet Union, has focused on health promotion, prevention of cross-border infectious diseases, as well as work against drugs and HIV. Finland’s neighbouring area co-operation has also included some child welfare projects. The co-operation was first initiated by the North Karelia Project, and later it has been based on a memorandum of understanding between Finland and Russia concerning co-operation in the field of social welfare and health care. The termination of the Finnish neighbouring area funding will make it more difficult to carry out useful co-operation projects in the future.
National Institute for Health and Welfare, THL
tel. +358 29 524 6001
Short address: http://www.thl.fi/doc/en/29881
Updated 12 Jun 2012