Life phases

Each phase of a human being's life is shaped by structural changes in the body and mind and by the needs that result from these changes. In a number of life phases – childhood, pregnancy or advanced age ­– health is an especially important factor and particular care is needed to protect it.


Donate organs? "Say what you think is important!"

Organ donation campaign 2016–2020. The new organ donation campaign focuses on discussion, communication and sharing. It is aimed at sensitising the general public into talking about the subject of organ transplantation with family and friends, reaching a decision for or against organ donation and communicating this decision. Only those who express their will can be sure that their decision will be respected by their relatives. The FOPH is launching the campaign in cooperation with the Swisstransplant foundation. more


At first Hand

Editorial Ursula Koch and Roy Salveter. Health is not something that is achieved and remains unchanged forever; it is a "balance" that has to be maintained throughout a person's life and actively sought every single day. Nowadays health research assumes that people are able to take responsibility for themselves, for their health and for the world around them. Individuals, their life circumstances and their ability to play a part in shaping the world they inhabit are central factors in this approach. This is why the goal of strengthening people's health skills has for many years been the focus of all the prevention efforts undertaken by the Federal Office of Public Health and its partners. more


"Strengthening health skills cannot be the task of public health policy alone."

Six questions for Stefan Spycher. Health skills are a key factor in the physical and mental wellbeing of the individual; they reduce pressure on the health system and consequently on society as a whole. But how can health policy help to establish and develop these skills in all people, and what is the state doing specifically to improve equality of opportunity? Stefan Spycher, Head of the Health Policy Directorate and Vice Director of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) provides some answers. more


Strengthening resources means establishing the skills needed to make healthier choices at an early stage

Health skills. The federal government is seeking to strengthen the resources available to the population by enabling people to learn health skills and to take responsibility for their own health. In line with the Federal Council's "Health 2020" strategy, the Federal Office of Public Health wants to increase equality of opportunity and improve the options available to the most vulnerable groups in society for achieving and maintaining good health. more


Effective early intervention to counter forgetfulness in old age

International dementia symposium. Poor concentration and increasing forgetfulness are early signs of dementia, a disease that can rob a person of the ability to live independently. In early June, some 120 people working in public administration, research and the practical setting met at the first international dementia symposium, hosted by Switzerland, to discuss possible ways in which the health service and society can meet this challenge. more


"No longer exhaust every practical possibility, but focus on the patient's peace of mind"

Palliative care/publication. The term "palliative care" is used when the focus of treatment is no longer on cure or life-prolonging measures, but on alleviation of suffering and on the patient's quality of life. Palliative care is playing an increasingly important role in care of the ageing. A brochure is available that provides a touching portrait of this approach in practice, with sensitive contributions from patients and health professionals. more


Health for schools – schools for health

Lead article. According to the National Health Report 2008, education is one of the most important socio-economic deter­minants of health. People with a high level of education generally behave in a healthier way, feel healthier and have a longer life expectancy than sectors of the population with little education. Conversely, healthy pupils have been shown to learn more easily and to retain what they have learnt for a longer time. There is therefore an interactive relationship between education and health. more


At first hand

Editorial Andrea Arz de Falco. The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) has a vested interest in schools because they play an important role in public health. All children in Switzerland have the right to a basic education. During the years that children and adolescents spend at school, they also learn a great deal about their health. In the classroom they are taught the essentials of hygiene and biology, and in the corridors and during the breaks they learn behaviour and skills relating to diet, physical activity and how to deal with stress, conflict and risk situations. This stands them in good stead for the rest of their lives. We also know that a good atmosphere at school has a positive effect on performance in teachers, children and adolescents. more


Physical activity enables learning with all senses

Physically active learning. Schools that integrate physical activity into the school routine in areas other than sport and physical education are very successful: their pupils and teachers are more concentrated and receptive during lessons and enjoy the everyday life of the school. This means that a greater amount of physical activity at school creates a setting that promotes health and supports learning, teaching and a good school climate. more