In an increasingly networked world, the significance of international cooperation is also steadily growing in the health sector. Two key factors are international cooperation as a means of promoting health in Switzerland, and health as a component of development aid.


Tobacco control is a human right

Tobacco control. WHO Director-General Margaret Chan calls for human rights concerns to play a greater role in the fight against the tobacco industry. more


International experts on substitution treatment meet in Geneva

Conferences on opioid dependence. Two conferences on the treatment of opioid dependence were held concurrently in Geneva on 18 and 19 October: NaSuKo (3rd national conference on substitution treatment) and TOD (3rd francophone international symposium on the treatment of opioid dependence). More than 450 experts from Switzerland and a number of other French-speaking countries attended the two conferences. more


Switzerland tackles measles

Measles Elimination Strategy. World Health Organization Europe aims to eliminate measles from the region by 2015. Switzerland has also committed to achieving this goal. The Swiss government therefore approved the Measles Elimination Strategy in December 2011. Measles is not a harmless childhood disease but a highly contagious viral infection. more


Global strategies for dealing with global problems require national implementation!

Diet and physical activity. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), non-communicable diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases) accounted for 63% of deaths in the world in 2008. The increase in such conditions and the associated impact on the healthcare and social welfare systems and on the economy constitute a major challenge for many countries. more


Eating healthily and enjoying a more active lifestyle

State of affairs of the National Programme on Diet and Physical Activity. The National Programme on Diet and Physical Activity 2008−2012 (NPDPA) was initiated a good three years ago. Its aims are to create conditions conducive to a healthy lifestyle and to motivate the population to maintain a balanced diet, take enough exercise and thus prevent diseases from occurring. more


«Geneva could become a new centre of acknowledged excellence in all aspects of drug policy.»

Five questions for Jean-Félix Savary. The association of addiction management professionals, Groupement Romand d’Etudes des addictions (GREA), hosted a conference on «50 years of drug prohibition» on 19 October. We talked to Jean-Félix Savary, secretary general of GREA, on the background situation. more


Health promotion: the story of a successful concept

25 Years of the Ottawa Charter. The approval in 1986 of the Ottawa Charter, the blueprint for health promotion efforts the world over, represented a paradigm shift in perceptions of health. A book by Brigitte Ruckstuhl describes the origins and development of the concept of health promotion. more


At first hand

Editorial Gaudenz Silberschmidt. Whether it’s flu epidemics, food crises, trade in medicines or development aid, many health issues require global responses. The WHO – the United Nations’ authority for coordinating public health at the international level – has been providing them for over sixty years. As the sole global regulatory body in the health field, it lays down internationally valid rules and standards that serve the individual member states as guidelines for their national health policies. Switzerland is no exception: our national prevention programmes on tobacco, alcohol and diet & physical activity were shaped in part by the corresponding international strategies, agreements and resolutions of the WHO. Likewise, the draft of our Prevention Act was also influenced by the WHO Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases. more