|World Health Day 2012 celebrated greatly in Riga|
The Ministry for Health of Latvia, WHO Country Office in Latvia and the Riga City celebrated World Health Day on 12 April 2012. An intensive conference on the theme “Healthy and Active Latvia Lifelong” was organized with speakers from Latvia and abroad. There were stands in front of the city hall open for the Riga residents, informing about good and healthy decisions - for example, Nordic walking was promoted.
The interest of Latvian municipalities in health promotion is growing. During the conference, Health Minister Ingrida Circene stressed the fact that multi-sectoral work is needed to improve health indicators. Aiga Rurane from WHO Country Office in Latvia mentioned that 100 municipalities, out of around 300, are interested in WHO Healthy Cities. City of Jurmala is a long-time member of the network and City of Riga is applying for membership in the network.
Professor emeritus Geoff Green held a speech on WHO Age-friendly cities and how people can be productive all their life. Professor Green reminded that both state and local level should build cities for better health. Johanna Reiman from Baltic Region Healthy Cities Association presented some examples of practices of City of Turku in for example bringing culture to every-day life of elderly care and giving inexpensive senior cards to motivate them to exercise. Laima Grobina, Healthy City coordinator from Jurmala, told about municipality’s strategy and practices in health promotion: among other opportunities, the city offers instant support to people with difficulties or water gymnastics groups for overweight men. Simonas Gentvilas, the advisor to the Deputy Mayor of the City of Klaipeda, mentioned that in his city it was the professors who were active to improve Klaipeda’s bad living habits. Of Lithuania’s 60 municipalities, 35 host public health offices. According to Mr Gertvilas the advantage of working with politicians is that they can instruct to all city sectors.
The other guests included Terezija Mackare from Alliance of Riga’s Active Seniors, Anita Villerusa from Riga Stradin’s University, Janis Zalkalns from Physiotherapy Association and Doctor Aivars Kaupuzs. In all presentations the need for physical activity, social responsibility and motivating people to take care for their health, was pointed out.
‘’It was an interesting and inspiring event to attend and it is pleasing to see how actively the Latvian are in putting health issues on the agenda of the local decision makers.’’, says Johanna Reiman, Executive Director of Baltic Region Healthy Cities Association. The Association welcomes the Latvian cities and the renewed Latvian National Network to the Healthy Cities community!
|Last Updated on Monday, 23 April 2012 12:03|