Featuring Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Andrea Ammon, Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and Agneta Karlsson, State Secretary of the Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, the press point covered a wide range of issues, with the discussion touching upon vaccination, antimicrobial resistance, multimorbidity, and the important role of social determinants in improving health and well-being.
The speakers at today’s press point:
• Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety
• Andrea Ammon, Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
• Agneta Karlsson, State Secretary of the Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs
Vytenis Andriukaitis – European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety
“I am very pleased to be back in Gastein for the fifth time.
I am delighted that this year’s theme is ‚Health in all Politics‘. Our aim must be to get all policies, all Ministers, all stakeholders, at all levels, to contribute to keeping people in good health. Education, marketing, taxation, urban planning can all help foster healthy living. Global Health is another issue on the Gastein agenda this year. I hope to seize on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to raise the profile of global health.
The Commission is preparing an initiative to support vaccination, which we will present next year (2018), to support Member States in increasing vaccination coverage, fighting vaccine hesitancy and addressing problems with vaccine supply and production.
Vaccines are one of the safest and most cost-effective ways to ensure public health and avoid preventable disease. It is therefore my honour to announce the shortlist of 10 outstanding initiatives by NGOs which have significantly contributed to higher levels of vaccination in the EU population. I will give the award for the three top prizes during the EU Health Policy Platform Meeting on 27 November 2017, but from my point of view, all 10 NGOs are winners.”
The 10 shortlisted initiatives of the EU Health Award for NGOs 2017, announced at the European Health Forum Gastein 2017, can be found here.
Andrea Ammon – Director, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
“Vaccination is a major priority for the ECDC. Vaccine hesitancy is an issue that threatens the success of vaccines we have seen. This is why we developed communication tool kits to help doctors deal with questions of parents. The bottom line is that all parts of society have to be involved to find a solution.”
In identifying infectious threats in Europe, ECDC has a global role to play, because -when it comes to infectious threats- nothing is remote. Every morning ECDC do an assessment of rumours and threats around all infectious diseases and warnings of rumours will be posted on social media.
It is absolutely necessary to have a global network of monitoring media and to have an early warning system to flag rumours. As discussed in the EHFG workshop yesterday, the first pilot projects taking the rumour monitoring will require further assessment. ECDC is looking to involve behavioural scientists to help assess the behaviour behind the rumours so that we can develop counter measures.”
Agneta Karlsson – State Secretary, Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs
“Global health and health in all politics are extremely important to build a society that holds together. The work around the 2030 agenda provides positive momentum for lifting up and enforcing the work on global health and “Health in All Politics”.
In Sweden, we have been working on “Health in All Politics” for a long time, with inclusion being a key objective. But that is not enough. If we really want to make progress and to make everyone included, we need to find a way to integrate equality in all policies. For this, social determinants are important. With our own Commission on Social Determinants, we found conditions in early life are particularly important: schools, vaccination schemes, good maternity health services, and educational opportunities throughout life. We also need to make sure that people have the ability to be economically independent. To make everyone have a good life, we need to take into account “Health in All Politics” in all life cycles. This is not only a matter of healthcare ministers.
Vaccine prevention is very important. Sweden has a high rate of vaccination among children, but we also see that misunderstandings and rumours can move around quite quickly. One thing we can do is to give more money to our public health agencies for awareness raising campaigns. We need to work together on this, both at the European level and the national level.”
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact:
European Health Forum Gastein 2017 – Press office
T: +32 2 321 90 16