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Using price policies to promote healthier diets
( 2015 )
Abstract

This publication provides information on the use of price policies to promote healthy diets and explores policy developments from around the WHO European Region. It examines the economic theory underpinning the use of subsidies and taxation and explores the currently available evidence. The publication includes several case studies from WHO European Member States where price policies have been introduced. It concludes with some observations about the design of more effective price policies.

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Evidence Brief: How can we best protect non-smokers from exposure to tobacco smoke?
( 2015 )
Abstract

Research clearly shows that there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. Comprehensive smoke-free laws are the only effective means of eliminating the risks associated with smoking. Article 8 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control forms the basis of international action to reduce the burden of disease attributable to second-hand smoke. Smoke-free legislation works, but it is of key importance that certain indicators are not measured prematurely. Doing so would raise the risk of incorrectly portraying low levels of impact and, thus, of jeopardizing political support of the policy. The regional evidence showing the impact of smoke-free legislation for the nine countries in the WHO European Region that meet the eligibility criteria for inclusion in this brief is presented in light of statements commonly made in connection with the proposed introduction of smoke-free legislation.

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Residential heating with wood and coal: health impacts and policy options in Europe and North America
( 2015 )
Abstract

Residential heating with wood and coal is an important source of ambient (outdoor) air pollution; it can also cause substantial indoor air pollution through either direct exposure or infiltration from outside. Evidence links emissions from wood and coal heating to serious health effects such as respiratory and cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. Wood and coal burning also emit carcinogenic compounds. The results presented in the report indicate that it will be difficult to tackle outdoor air pollution problems in many parts of the world without addressing this source sector. A better understanding of the role of wood biomass heating as a major source of globally harmful outdoor air pollutants (especially fine particles) is needed among national, regional and local administrations, politicians and the public at large.

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Access to new medicines in Europe: technical review of policy initiatives and opportunities for collaboration and research
( 2015 )
Abstract

This report, with a focus on sustainable access to new medicines, reviews policies that affect medicines throughout their lifecycle (from research and development to disinvestment), examining the current evidence base across Europe. While many European countries have not traditionally required active priority-setting for access to medicines, appraising new medicines using pharmacoeconomics is increasingly seen as critical in order to improve efficiency in spending while maintaining an appropriate balance between access and cost–effectiveness. The study features findings from 27 countries and explores different ways that health authorities in European countries are dealing with high spending on new medicines, including methods such as restrictive treatment guidelines, target levels for use of generics, and limitations on the use of particularly expensive drugs. It also outlines possible policy directions and choices that may help governments to reduce high prices when introducing new drugs.

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Launch Conference for the Project on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs); 1 December 2014, Moscow, Russian Federation
( 2015 )
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Evidence Brief: How large pictorial health warnings on the packaging of tobacco products affect knowledge and behaviour
( 2015 )
Abstract

Evidence shows that combined written and graphic health messages on the packaging of tobacco products are more effective than text-only warnings. Indeed, images have been shown to increase the awareness of the health risks related to tobacco consumption. Article 11 of the WHO FCTC requires the adoption of health warnings on packages and the guidelines on implementation of this article recommend the adoption of pictorial health warnings. Studies have shown that pictorial health warnings increase quit attempts and decrease smoking uptake. Pictorial health warnings, including graphic, fear-arousing information, have proven to be particularly effective. They also have public support; half of the EU citizens recognized the effectiveness of such measures in 2008. Contrary to what tobacco companies are claiming, pictorial health warnings are fast and cheap to implement, and they do not increase illicit trade. These measures are in compliance with international trade law and intellectual property law.

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School Environment: Policies and current status
( 2015 )
Abstract

В отчете приведен обзор существующих законов, норм и рекомендаций, направленных на обеспе- чение здоровой окружающей среды в школах и детских садах, информация о неблагоприятных факторах окружающей среды в школах, дизайне, методах и результатах некоторых недавно за- вершенных обследований, а также обзор экспозиции школьников к основным неблагоприятным факторам, включая некоторые загрязнители воздуха внутри помещений, плесень и сырость, недо- статочную интенсивность вентиляции, проблемы в сфере санитарии и гигиены, курение, а также данные об использовании различных способов транспортировки в школу. В то время, как офици- альные документы, направленные на обеспечение здоровой окружающей среды для школьников, приняты в большинстве государств-членов, внедрение и обеспечение соблюдения некоторых норм остается важной проблемой. В некоторых странах необходимы дальнейшие усилия по улучшению санитарных условий в школах, обеспечению адекватной вентиляции, профилактике сырости и плесени, уменьшению источников загрязнения воздуха внутри помещений, соблюдению существу- ющих запретов на курение и продвижению использования активных способов передвижения в школу. Применение гармонизированных методов мониторинга играет ключевую роль для закрытия существующих пробелов в данных, а также выявления и управления неблагоприятными факторами окружающей среды в школах.

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School Environment: Policies and current status
( 2015 )
Abstract

This report includes a summary of existing policies on providing healthy environments in schools and kindergartens, an overview of environmental risk factors in schools, information on design, methods and results of selected recently conducted exposure assessment surveys and a summary of pupils’ exposures to major environmental factors, such as selected indoor air pollutants, mould and dampness and poor ventilation in classrooms, sanitation and hygiene problems, smoking and the use of various modes of transportation to school. While most Member States have comprehensive policies aiming at providing healthy environment for pupils, implementing and enforcing some of these policies is a common challenge. Further efforts are needed to improve school sanitation, provide adequate ventilation, prevent dampness and mould growth, reduce emission of indoor air pollutants, improve enforcement of existing smoking bans, facilitate the use of active transportation modes in some countries. Facilitating the use of harmonized monitoring method is essential for closing existing data gaps, identifying and addressing environmental risk factors in schools.

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Strengthening health system accountability: a WHO European Region multi-country study
Tello, Juan; Baez-Camargo, Claudia ( 2015 )
Abstract

This report takes stock of the measures that Member States of the WHO European Region have put in place to strengthen health system accountability since the Tallinn Charter: Health Systems for Health and Wealth (2008) and the Health 2020 policy framework (2012) were adopted. These last years have been undoubtedly marked by significant challenges facing the health systems in the Region, including international and national environments affected by an economic crisis, increased health needs, as well as resource scarcity. However, and in spite of the challenging context, Member States across the Region have taken abundant and significant steps to improve health system accountability. This report summarizes the experiences of Member States strengthening health system accountability in the context of the momentum created by the Tallinn Charter and Health 2020 through rigorous goal setting, as well as health system performance measurement and review.

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Review of the national tuberculosis programme in Romania
de Colombani, Pierpaolo; Hollo, Vahur; Jansen, Niesje; Kremer, Kristin; Labelle, Soleil; Makhmudova, Mavluda; Ramis, Oriol; Sandgren, Andreas; Stillo, Jonathan; Tukvadze, Nestan; Yedilbayev, Askar ( 2015 )
Abstract

Romania has the highest incidence of TB in the European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA), representing one quarter of the EU/EEA TB burden. A review of the national TB programme in Romania was jointly organized by the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, with WHO leading all operations, from 10 to 21 March 2014. The review acknowledged the high rates of detection and treatment success achieved among patients with drugsusceptible forms of TB; it also pointed to the large proportion of patients with multidrug-resistant TB who are not detected or are poorly treated. The review identified major challenges to be addressed at programme level as well as at health system level and gave the Ministry of Health and the national TB programme 14 main recommendations for improvement.