Exploring the Northern Dimension

ND newsflash

Summaries and video from the Northern Dimension Future Forums available

The Northern Dimension Institute (NDI) organized four Northern Dimension Future Forums in November 2018. The first was the…

New Nordic-German cooperation will support Nordic health technology companies access the German market

Welfare Tech is part of a new Nordic-German collaboration that step-by-step offer companies insight and clarification in the German health & care market over a 13 months period. The project has received almost 2 million. DKK from Nordic Innovation and is supported by the Nordic prime ministers under the Nordic Solution to Global Challenges initiative.

The Nordic countries are advanced in their implementation of digital health solutions and among the first countries in the world where you see an implementation of scale of health and care technology. With a publicly funded health and social care systems and high standards of health and care services, the Nordic countries have early realized the potential of technology in healthcare and hence invested in Public Private Innovation, together with companies, developing and implementing new digital solutions and care technologies increasing the efficiency and modernisation of public health care.

“Germany has one of the fastest growing populations in Europe with an increasing number of elderly citizens, and the country is experiencing an acute shortage of health and care staff. This offer great opportunities for Nordic companies that develop health and care technology. Even though Germany is a mature technology market, the country is only recently beginning to realize how digitization, automation, robots and other technologies can elevate quality and turn workflows more efficient in the health and care sector, “says Karen Lindegaard, Senior Consultant at Welfare Tech.

See more information at http://scanbalt.org/scanbalt-news/new-nordic-german-cooperation-will-support-nordic-health-technology-companies-access-the-german-market/

Bridging the gap between the evidence-based knowledge and implementation in promoting Healthy Ageing

The Northern Dimension Institute (NDI) organized the Northern Dimension Future Forum on Health: Healthy Ageing on 28 November 2018 in the Finnish Science Center, Heureka, in Vantaa, Finland. The event gathered researchers, professionals, civil servants and decision-makers to discuss the future challenges and opportunities in providing support, services and environments enhancing health and wellbeing among senior citizens. The event featured three knowledge arenas focusing on the topical themes of loneliness and mental health, managing healthy life-styles and preventing ageing related diseases, and creating environments supporting healthy aging. The forum was moderated by Ms. Charlotte Geerdink from Charly Speaks.

Professor Riitta Kosonen, Director for the Center for Markets in Transition, Aalto University, and the Lead Coordinator of the NDI opened the event with an overview of the role of NDI in the Northern Dimension policy and supporting the work of the four Northern Dimension Partnerships. In November 2018, NDI organizes four Northern Dimension Future Forums in close collaboration with the ND Partnerships focusing on the jointly selected topics. The work is planned to continue through a three-year-project on a Northern Dimension Think Tank.

ND Future Forum on Health 2018 Krol Kosonen web 2
Zbigniew Król (Deputy Minister of Health, Poland), Riitta Kosonen (NDI Lead Coordinator), Sari Raassima (MP, Finnish Parliament) and Ulla-Karin Nurm (NDPHS)

Director of the Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Wellbeing (NDPHS), Ms. Ulla-Karin Nurm expressed words of thanks to the NDI for organizing the event and the EC and Ministry for Foreign Affairs for financial support. The 15-year-collaboration in the NDPHS has proved truly effective with active participation of partners in the thematic expert groups, joint projects, events, publications, international networks. Enhancing healthy ageing is one of the key challenges in the future societies and ageing population is selected as a crosscutting theme for the NDPHS work.

In his keynote speech, Mr. Miika Mäki from the Family Federation of Finland, Country Team Operator for SHARE Finland project, highlighted the project objectives to provide evidence-based knowledge and multi-disciplinary approach towards population ageing. The SHARE database consists of face-to-face 80-minute interviews of more than 120 000 persons over 50 years with focus on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks in 27 European countries and Israel. The database is open to researchers free of charge. SHARE data is also utilized for political consulting at national and international level.

In the first Knowledge Arena, we heard presentations highlighting different approaches towards preventing loneliness and mental health among elderly. Professor Marja Vaarama from the University of Eastern Finland, and Consortium PI of the Inclusive Promotion of Health and Wellbeing (Promeq) project, Academy of Finland, introduced findings of applying inclusive methods for promoting health and wellbeing in selected target groups. Based on the project results, primary prevention, service counselling and promotion of health and wellbeing for elderly should entail meaningful activities to enhance self-efficacy, maintaining mobility, reduction of loneliness and support to healthy diet. Participative group-based care management may be a cost-effective way for promoting health and quality of life of elderly.

Researcher Anastasia Emelyanova from the University of Oulu showcased research-based evidence indicating that volunteering in old age is a key tool for promoting social inclusion, social cohesion and higher quality of life. Professor Andrey Soloviev, Director of the Institute of Mental Health; Chief, Department of Psychiatry & Clinical Psychology, Northern State Medical University in Russia, introduced approaches to diagnose mental health of elderly in primary care, training medical staff to assess mental health and involve family members in the care. Let us be active! –project was introduced by Ms. Aija Vecenane, Chief specialist, Project Manager from the Riga City Council, Latvia. Three cities Pärnu, Riga and Turku developed and piloted new volunteering activities for senior citizens including a volunteer call center in Riga. The project demonstrated that volunteering is one potential activity to enhance life satisfaction and social activeness among elderly.

In the lively moderated discussion with the commentators and audience, Mr. Zbigniew Król, Undersecretary of State (Deputy Minister) of Health in Poland highlighted ongoing efforts in Poland to enhance lifetime healthy lifestyles. To this end, research and sharing of good experiences can provide tools for healthy ageing strategies and organizing local care for elderly. Ms. Sari Raassima, Member of the Finnish Parliament and the Social Affairs and Health Committee, underlined the role of research to provide consensus statements on what are the most cost-effective approaches for social and health service development, prevention, and late prevention. There is a need for new ideas and solutions for producing and financing elderly services with equal access for all in the near future.

In the second part of the forum, speakers focused on approaches to support elderly in maintaining healthy lifestyles to prevent type 2 diabetes and dementia. According to Ms. Jaana Lindström, Research Manager from the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland, StopDia project with over 85 000 identified persons at risk of type 2 diabetes in Finland, demonstrates that type 2 diabetes is preventable. To this end, three level of actions are needed: identification of individuals at risk, lifestyle interventions and environmental interventions stimulating healthy choices. Dr. Shireen Sindi, Researcher from the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS) at Karolinska Institutet, Aging Research Center and Division of Clinical Geriatrics in Sweden, introduced findings and further simulations of the Finger project focusing on developing and testing multi-domain interventions to prevent dementia. Based on the Finger results, multi-domain interventions including healthy diet, exercise, cognitive training and vascular risk monitoring are effective and feasible with tailored interventions for specific at-risk profiles. Dr. Eva Barrett, Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow from Galway National University of Ireland, introduced results of the Mario project on developing and testing caring service robots for elderly care in Ireland, UK and Italy. Mario is selected as one of the top ICT influential active and healthy ageing projects in Europe.

Commentators, Ms. Anna Brooks from the National Board of Health and Welfare, Sweden, and Ms. Anja Noro, Research Professor, Project Manager from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health of Finland, appreciated the value of the research and hopeful solutions provided for preventing and managing the most pressing ageing related diseases. At the same time, it was acknowledged that one of the key challenges is to adopt and apply the knowledge into the practice. This requires close collaboration and inclusion of the authorities, professionals and staff at different levels together with patients. When developing innovative ICT solutions, the goal is to develop solutions to assist the care staff, not to replace them.

In the last Knowledge Arena, the presentations and discussion were devoted to developing age-friendly environments supporting healthy ageing. Ms. Tiina Tambaum, Researcher, Project Manager from the Estonian Institute for Population Studies introduced findings of projects on creating and piloting intergenerational practices, new ways to engage elderly and young. Professor Elena Golubeva from the Northern (Arctic) Federal University in Russia highlighted foster families for elderly as new social services developed and in use in Russia. Ms. Tatiana Zadorkina, Deputy Chief Doctor from the Medical prevention and rehabilitation center for Kaliningrad region and Ms. Olga Andreeva, Deputy Manager from the Federal Research Institute for Health in Russia, gave an overview of the ongoing projects to adopt new approaches and technologies in medical and social care for people over 60 years in Kaliningrad region in Russia. Professor Liisa Häikiö from the University of Tampere in Finland introduced the human needs approach to provide evidence-based knowledge for urban governance and planning on diversity of needs of elderly with care needs.

In the moderated discussion, Ms. Mari Patronen, Senior Advisor, Services for Elderly from the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, Mr. Jyrki Kasvi, Member of the Finnish Parliament, underlined that research and lessons learnt in the concrete activities are most valuable to support policy- and decision-making. There is still need to understand better how technological innovations and digitalization can be utilized in developing user-centered and cost-effective elderly care services. In urban governance and planning, tailored human needs approach can provide new and innovative ways to design housing and age-friendly urban environments. In the concluding remarks, Ms. Ulla-Karin Nurm, Director of the NDPHS reviewed the key discussion points and underlined need to continue regular knowledge sharing, discussions and people-to-people contacts between researchers and decision-makers to tackle the pressing challenges of healthy ageing in the ND countries.

ND Future Forum on Health 2018 audience 2 web
Audience enjoyed the lively discussions

The event was organized by the Northern Dimension Institute together with the Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Wellbeing and financed by the European Commission/DG NEAR and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

The Northern Dimension Institute is a an open university network, which is coordinated by the Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland, as the Lead Coordinator in cooperation with the Northern (Arctic) Federal University and the St Petersburg State University of Economics in Russia.

Programme of the event can be found here (pdf).

Presentations from the event are available below (pdfs):

Keynote speech
Transforming the Challenges of Population Ageing into Opportunities with the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), Mr. Miika Mäki, Researcher, Country Team Operator for SHARE Finland, the Family Federation of Finland

Knowledge Arena 1: Approaches towards preventing loneliness and mental health among elderly
Quality of life, healthy ageing and loneliness - what can be done? Ms. Marja Vaarama, Professor, University of Eastern Finland, Strategic Research Program on Health, Academy of Finland
Volunteering as a means of social inclusion in old age: The Arctic context, Ms. Anastasia Emelyanova, Researcher, University of Oulu
Prevention of mental disorders among elderly: how to actively involve older persons and their relatives in this primary and secondary prevention, Mr. Andrey Soloviev, Professor, Director, Institute of Mental Health; Chief, Department of Psychiatry & Clinical Psychology, Northern State Medical University, Russia
Let us be active! -project, Ms. Aija Vecenane, Chief specialist, Project Manager, Riga City Council, Latvia

Knowledge Arena 2: Supporting active and healthy lifestyles
Approaches to empower individuals to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, Ms. Jaana Lindström, Research Manager, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland, Strategic Research Program on Health, Academy of Finland
Multidomain interventions to prevent dementia. Dr. Shireen Sindi, Researcher, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS) at Karolinska Institutet, Aging Research Center and Division of Clinical Geriatrics, Sweden
Managing active and healthy aging with use of caring service robots – Mario project, Dr. Eva Barrett, Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Galway National University of Ireland

Knowledge Arena 3: Creating environments supporting healthy aging
Intergenerational practice as a tool for improving ageing societies, Ms. Tiina Tambaum, Researcher, Project Manager, Estonian Institute for Population Studies, Estonia
Innovations in developing social services in Russia: focus on circumpolar areas, Ms. Elena Golubeva, Professor, Northern (Arctic) Federal University, Russia
Organizational technologies of medical and social care for people 60+ based on individual needs, Ms. Tatiana Zadorkina, Deputy Chief Doctor, Medical prevention and rehabilitation center for Kaliningrad region, Russia and Ms. Olga Andreeva, Deputy manager, Federal Research Institute for Health Organization and Informatics, Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Russia
Human needs approach to ageing in urban environments, Ms. Liisa Häikiö, Professor, University of Tampere, Finland, Strategic Research Program on Urbanising Society, Academy of Finland

Northern Dimension Future Forum on Health: Healthy Ageing, 28 Nov 2018, Vantaa, Finland

DATE: Wednesday 28 November 2018, at 10:00 – 16:00
VENUE: Heureka, the Finnish Science Center, address: Tiedepuisto 1, Vantaa, Finland
Northern Dimension Future Forum on Health: Towards Healthy Ageing in the Northern Europe brings together decision-makers and top experts to discuss challenges and opportunities in creating support, services and environments enhancing health and wellbeing among senior citizens.

The Forum will revolve around the topical themes related to healthy ageing as a lifelong process of optimizing opportunities for improving and preserving physical, mental and social wellbeing, independence, and quality of life. The Forum will present recent research findings as well as innovative healthy ageing initiatives and concrete actions followed by moderated discussions with professionals and decision-makers.
You are kindly invited to register online here (link)
by 17 November 2018.
The ND Future Forums are organized by the Northern Dimension Institute in collaboration with the four Northern Dimension Partnerships:  Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP), Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS), Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics (NDPTL), and Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC). The organization of the ND Future Forums is financially supported by the European Commission/DG NEAR and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. For more information visit:

Register to the Northern Dimension Future Forums in November 2018!

The Northern Dimension Future Forums will focus on issues, trends and challenges that will shape the future developments in the Northern Dimension (ND) priority themes (environment, transport & logistics, culture, and health & social wellbeing) throughout the ND area and need to be somehow addressed in all the ND countries and beyond. Such issues include, for example, role of creative industries in renewing innovation and industries, role of renewable energy, automatization of transport, increasing antimicrobial resistance of bacteria, and digitalization as an overarching theme to name just a few relevant examples. The ND Future Forums will facilitate decision makers in tackling future challenges and pinning down future potential thereby contributing to sustainable economic progress in the ND area.

Northern Dimension Future Forums in 2018:
Creating a better world through cultural and creative crossovers
DATE: Thu 15th Nov 2018, at 12.00-16.00
VENUE: Hotel Radisson Sonya, Liteyny Prospekt 5/19, St. Petersburg, Russia
Programme (pdf)
Registration is open and can be found here (link).
Black Carbon and Climate Change in the European Arctic
DATE: Mon 19th November 2018, at 13.00-18.00
VENUE: Thon Hotel EU, Rue de la Loi 75, Brussels, Belgium
Programme (pdf)
Registration is open and can be found here (link).
Emerging trade routes between Europe and Asia – Impacts of China’s Belt and Road Initiative on Northern Europe
DATE: Tue 20th November 2018, at 9.00 - 14.00
VENUE: Thon Hotel EU, Rue de la Loi 75, Brussels, Belgium
Registration is open and can be found here (link).
Healthy Ageing
DATE: Wed 28th November 2018, at 10.00 - 17.00
VENUE: Heureka, the Finnish Science Center, address: Tiedepuisto 1, Vantaa, Finland
Programme (pdf)
Registration is open and can be found here (link).
Each Forum will specialize in each of the four ND priority themes: environment, transport & logistics, culture, and health & social wellbeing.
The ND Future Forums will be organized by ND Institute in cooperation with the ND Partnerships. The events are organized with support of the European Commission and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. The Forums are free of charge and open to everyone interested in the topic.
Welcome to the ND Future Forums!

Internship opportunity at the NDPHS Secretariat in Stockholm, Sweden

The Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS) Secretariat in Stockholm, Sweden is looking for motivated trainees to join the team to gain practical knowledge and professional experience related to the NDPHS activities.

We are seeking candidates with a background in Public Health, Social Wellbeing, Environmental Health, Social Sciences, Political Science, International Relations or Corporate Support Services fields (Public Administration, Information Technology, Communications etc). The Internship Program usually lasts for 6 months and is a full-time (40 hours per week) assignment, but can be also a part-time internship with minimum 20 hours of commitment per week.
The deadline for application is 25 September 2018 23:59 CEST. Further information is available at www.ndphs.org and you can readt the announcement here (pdf).

ScanBalt Forum 2017 (Tallinn)

Date: 18 October 2017
Venue: Energia avastuskeskus, Põhja pst 29, Tallinn

ScanBalt Forum 2017 presents and discusses ongoing activities of the EU Baltic Sea Region strategy flagship ScanBalt and accelerates new ones, coordinates between projects and promotes synergies.

Overall ScanBalt Forum targets the strategic objective of ScanBalt “BSR as one test and development site for health care products and services”.

The Forum this year pays special attention to digital technologies and health data in a Baltic Sea region cross-border perspective, commercialization and how to integrate entrepreneurship in education and export of educational methods.

The organizers of ScanBalt Forum 2017 are Tartu Biotechnology Parkand ScanBalt. On a rotating basis ScanBalt Forum moves from region to region as an annual event.

It costs only 75 EUR to participate in this day filled with discussion and planning for the future.

ScanBalt Forum 2017 is organized in partnership with the “Health in the Digital Society. Digital Society for Health” conference in Tallinn, which focus on how digital technologies and wider use of health data are changing our lives and the ways of healthcare.

Draft program (changes can occur)

09:00 General Assembly and ExCo for the association ScanBalt fmba (by invitation, members only)
10:00 Opening by Chairman of ScanBalt, Jaanus Pikani – Key messages to the participants
12:00 Lunch 13:00 Commercialization in Health Care – BSR as one test and development site (Chair Gudrun Mernitz, BioCon Valley)
14:30 Coffee break
15:00 Entrepreneurship and education in HealthCare – Export of knowledge (Chair Peeter Ross, Tallinn University of Technology)
16:30 Preparing for the future

For more information, a more detailed programme and registration please see the ScanBalt Forum 2017 website.

New NDPHS Newsletter out now

The latest issue of the NDPHS Newsletter is now available on the NDPHS website. This issue of the NDPHS e-Newsletter opens with the farewell words from the outgoing NDPHS Secretariat Director, Mr Marek Maciejowski.

Read more from the Newsletter.

International Conference: eHealth Innovation Days 2017, Germany

Come and visit the eHealth Innovation Days!

The second eHealth Innovation Days will take place at Flensburg University of Applied Sciences (FUAS) on 7th and 8th September 2017.

The conference will bring together academics, citizens, patient-groups and also eHealth developers and small companies from around the Baltic Sea Region in their common interest to explore the full potential of eHealth innovations. It will offer a platform for networking, initiating new partnerships and exchanging knowledge and experiences. The interesting sessions and an exhibition will reveal different aspects of eHealth, ranging from education to usability and innovative services.

The sessions will focus on:

  • eHealth in the Baltic Sea Region
  • Consumer-centered eHealth services (interactive workshop)
  • How to teach eHealth (panel discussion)
  • Innovative projects and companies
  • User involvement and usability

Excellent speakers from the Baltic Sea Region, Great Britain and Belgium will attend the conference and discuss with the audience.

The eHealth Innovation Days are a great opportunity to discover new developments and innovations in eHealth and discuss with experts the future of digital health.

For further information, please visit the conference web page.

Conference: eHealthTallinn 2017

Health in the Digital Society. Digital Society for Health 16–18 October 2017, Tallinn

"Health in the Digital Society. Digital Society for Health“ will focus on how digital technologies and wider use of health data are changing our lives and the ways of healthcare.
The conference will show already existing digital health solutions, use-cases and technologies to demonstrate that value-adding citizen-centric health services and systems are the reality and the future has already arrived to be made available to all Europeans.

Tallinn will bring you the latest developments in three hot topics:

  • Building citizen-driven demand in eHealth
  • eHealth supporting the value driven and sustainable health and social services
  • eHealth as a driver of innovation and economic development

The topics of discussion will include:

  • Giving citizens access and more control over the use of their health data
  • Cross-border exchange of health data
  • Making better use of health data for research and innovation
  • Creating the right conditions for a digital single market in health – interoperability, cybersecurity, data protection

The conference will bring together the EU policymakers and Member State ministers responsible for health, patient organization representatives, national and international IT and healthcare companies, health professionals, healthcare managers, and the R&D sector.

Registration for "Health in the Digital Society. Digital Society for Health“ is scheduled to be live in May 2017.

Further information and a detailed agenda will be made available in due course.

Health in the Digital Society. Digital Society for Health is organised by Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs and the Government Office as part of Estonia’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

For more information, please see eHealthTallinn 2017 website.

Call for Proposals (2017) for “Ageing and Place in a digitising world”

Joint Programming Initiative “More Years, Better Lives”
The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change
Call for research proposals 2017 "Ageing and place in a digitising world"

This Call 2017 “Ageing and place in a digitising world” is concerned with the ways in which the health and wellbeing of older people, at all stages of later life, is supported and promoted through the design of the social and physical environment, access to opportunities to learn, and the use of technologies of all kinds. As it is conventional, with “older” we here broadly refer to anyone over the age of 50: from those who are still healthy and active to those in the final stages of life, whether living at home or in long-term institutions. This group is rapidly growing in the population and the experience of later life is changing for many people. Although many older people remain very active, as they age, they are increasingly likely to have particular needs in terms of their living environment. To participate in learning and to have access to new technologies -and to be able to use them- becomes even more important as we age as our conditions, prospects and abilities are changing.

The overarching aim of our JPI is to find ways to improve the health and wellbeing of older people, to enable less-active elderly to be more engaged in social life and more active contributors to wider society, and to do this in cost-effective ways. Also, it is important to recognise the diversity of older people and to ensure that practical and policy changes do not unfairly put them at a disadvantage on the basis of factors like gender, ethnic origin, social class, location or disability.

To achieve this, we need a better understanding of how to introduce changes based on a multitude of needs in older people. We are interested, therefore, in understanding the implementation of new technologies in an inclusive manner, to help finding new solutions which accommodate individuals´ needs, aspirations and limitations, as well as the ways in which they learn and interact with others.

Under the umbrella of the JPI MYBL, the 3rd Joint Transnational Call will be launched with funding from the following partner organisations:

  • Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (BMWFW), Austria
  • Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT), Austria
  • Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS), Belgium
  • Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), Belgium
  • The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Canada
  • Academy of Finland (AKA), Finland
  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany
  • Health Research Board (HRB), Ireland
  • Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR), Italy
  • Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness – State Agency for Research, Spain
  • National Institute of Health Carlos III (ISCIII), Spain
  • The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE), Sweden
  • The Swedish Innovation agency (Vinnova), Sweden
  • The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), The Netherlands

For more information click here.


NDPHS E-Newsletter is published

The Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS) is pleased to announce that a new issue of its bi-annual e-newsletter is now available on the NDPHS website. You can download the newsletter directly on this link.

Where are we heading: Healthier and wealthier?

Current and possible future regional challenges to health and social care as well as the economic impacts of population health in the Northern Dimension countries were discussed in a seminar organized by the ND Partnership in Public Health and Social Wellbeing (NDPHS) in cooperation with the eHealth for Regions Network during the EUSBSR Annual Forum in Stockholm.

AIDS Denialism: Fear and Uncertainty

December 1 marked World AIDS Day, the purpose of which is to increase global awareness of the disease. Researchers from HSE’s campus in St. Petersburg have spent the last two years studying a movement of individuals called ‘AIDS dissidents,’ or people who deny the existence of AIDS. Peter Meylakhs, Senior Research Fellow with the International Centre for Health Economics, Management, and Policy at HSE St. Petersburg, Russia discusses the phenomenon in detail 

Read the full article on HSE website.

Different cultures and their experiences of pain

Swedes have a higher threshold and longer tolerance to pain, research carried out on three cultures by Malmö University’s Faculty of Odontology has discovered.

The findings are published in the thesis, ‘Cross-cultural differences in patients with temporomandibular disorders-pain’, written by Mohammad H Al-Harthy. It is hoped that the thesis will aid the treatment of patients in an ever-globalised world.

The main idea behind the research was to gain a better understanding of the cultural differences in some issues relating to pain, particularly orofacial pain, which is felt in the jaw, mouth and face - prevalence varies from country to country

Read more on Malmö University website.

Nutrition and physical activities: How European Union contributes to public Health priorities including obesity?

More than 20 pan-European actions have been co-financed under the 2nd and 3rd EU Health Programmes of the European Commission, with the aims to exchange best practices, to develop recommendations, and to improve standardized methods of data collection about nutrition and physical activity promotion.

From 30 November to 2 December 2016, in Budapest, the European Commission with the support of the Hungarian Ministry of the Human Capacities, has organised a very successful meeting to share these projects' results.

More than 30 projects were presented during this 3-day meeting. Read the presentations on EC website.

Health at a Glance: Europe report published

As a first step in the Commission’s State of Health in the EU cycle, the Health at a Glance: Europe 2016 report was published in November 2016. Developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) with cooperation from the Commission, this publication provides updated analysis of the health status of EU citizens and the performance of health systems.

Apart from various chapters with statistical indicators of 35 European countries, the 2016 report includes two cross-cutting chapters on political priorities: the labour market impacts of behavioural risk factors and related chronic diseases, and the strengthening of primary care systems.

Download the report and infograph on European Commission website

Nordic welfare research: Inequalities in health and public health policy

The Nordic Welfare Centreis an institution under the Nordic Council of Ministers. Its mission is to enhance social policy work in the Nordic countries through education, public information, research and development, networking and international co-operation. The institution has now published its first issue of a research magazine "Nordisk välfärdsforskning".

The magazine site is in Norwegian but following English articles can be downloaded:

  • The Norwegian policy to reduce health inequalities: key challenges
  • ‘All’s well in Iceland?’ Austerity measures, labour market initiatives, and health and well-being of children
  • Health inequalities – a challenge for the social investment welfare state
  • Reducing health inequalities in Finland: progressing or regressing?

Please visit the website to download the articles.

The Nordic welfare society amid a whirlwind of changes

The two-day event "Nordic Welfare States and Public Health – A Need for Transformative Change" will bring together over 200 experts from the Nordic countries.

The conference will also discuss public health and healthcare and social services reforms. Keynote speakers at the conference include Professor Franco Sassi (OECD, Imperial College Business School), Olle Lundberg (chair of the commission for Equity in Health in Sweden), Professor Gunnel Gustafsson (NordForsk), and Docent Mirjam Kalland (Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki).

The conference is one of the events under Finland's Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2016. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health organises the conference in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Culture and the National Institute for Health and Welfare, among others.

Follow the conference on social media with #Norden2016 and read more on the conference webpage.

Economic Dimensions on Health and Social Care

The NDPHS Secretariat is pleased to announce a report ”Economic Dimensions of Health and Social Care,” which Dr. Björn Ekman has recently written for the NDPHS.

This report reviews the evidence for the efficiency of investments to improve health and prevent disease in the Baltic Sea Region. Based on the existing evidence it also assesses the returns to such investments, both in the short- and long-term. Finally, it discusses policy options for best-practices for health promotion and disease prevention.

The report can be downloaded from the NDPHS Database here.

“Where are we heading – wealthier and healthier in the decades to come, or just the opposite?” NDPHS Seminar in 7th Annual EUSBSR Strategy Forum

The seminar, organized by the Secretariat of the Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS) in cooperation with the eHealth for Regions Network (eH4R) focused on linkages between health of populations and the economic prosperity of their countries, current and possible future regional challenges to health and social care, and debated how big impact what is happening now can have on our future lives and on the economies of our countries.

The seminar was moderated by Mr. Marek Maciejowski, Director of the NDPHS Secretariat and the speakers were Dr. Björn Ekman of the Lund University (Sweden), Prof. Dr. Roland Trill of the Flensburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany) and MD Dr. Galina Maslennikova of the National Research Centre for Preventive Medicine (Russia).

Read the full article on NDPHS website.

Evaluation of EU Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan shows clear added value of European action

Reducing the overuse and misuse of antimicrobial medicines is vital to stop the appearance of resistant microorganisms. To raise awareness about this issue, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) founded the European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) which aims to provide a platform and support for national campaigns about prudent antibiotic use. Over the years, European Antibiotic Awareness Day - marked annually on 18 November - has developed into a platform of global reach, partnering up with many countries outside the EU as well as relevant stakeholders, in line with the Commission's "One-Health" approach to Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

The Commission's 2011 Action Plan against the rising threats from AMR contains 12 actions for implementation with EU Member States and identifies 7 areas where measures are most needed:

•making sure antimicrobials are used appropriately in both humans and animals

• preventing microbial infections and their spread

• developing new effective antimicrobials or alternatives for treatment

• cooperating with international partners to contain the risks of AMR

• improving monitoring and surveillance in human and animal medicine

• promoting research and innovation

• improving communication, education and training

The evaluation of the Commission's Action plan published in October 2016 shows that this had a clear added value acting as a symbol of political commitment, stimulating several actions within Member States, and has served to strengthen international cooperation. The Action Plan has also provided a framework to guide and coordinate activities on AMR at international level in the area of monitoring and surveillance and on R&D.

Download the action plan and its evaluation on European Commission website.

Exchanging sedentariness for low-intensity physical activity can prevent weight gain in children

As little as 10 minutes of high-intensity physical activity per day reduces the amount of adipose tissue and enhances cardiorespiratory fitness in 6–8-year-old children, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland. The higher the intensity of physical activity, the stronger the association with the amount of adipose tissue. Exchanging sedentary behaviour –mainly sitting – for even low-intensity physical activity reduces the amount of adipose tissue. In order for physical activity to enhance cardiorespiratory fitness, the intensity needs to be at least moderate.

The results published in Sports Medicine are part of the Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children (PANIC) Study carried out in the University of Eastern Finland. The study was conducted in collaboration with the University of Cambridge.

Read more on the University of Eastern Finland website.

Healthy diet boosts children’s reading skills

A heathy diet is linked to better reading skills in the first three school years, shows a recent study from Finland. Published in the European Journal of Nutrition, the study constitutes part of the Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children Study conducted at the University of Eastern Finland and the First Steps Study conducted at the University of Jyväskylä. University of Eastern Finland is a member of Northern Dimension Institute.

Read more about the study on UEF website.

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