Public Health

Priorities of Public Health Care

One of the main tasks of personal and public health care is fostering
responsibility of each person for his or her own health. In
order to improve the quality and accessibility of public health
care services to each citizen of the country the Ministry of Health
drafts legal acts and programmes that would encourage local authorities
to establish public health offices. The main functions
of these offices include co-ordination of implementation of municipal
public health programmes, monitoring trends in health
condition changes of the municipal population, support and coordination
of public health education and encouragement of the
community involvement in solving public health problems.
Priorities of public health care
Concerns about people‘s health and well-being is the
aim of social and economic development of each state.
Following international experience Lithuania gradually
and purposefully implements the public health policy.
Its goal is to ensure an effective functioning of the system
of disease prevention and control, health education and
the development of information systems, to encourage
professional advancement of public health care specialists
and to implement the reform of the public health system
in compliance with the requirements of EU legal acts.
One of the main priorities in public health sector is improvement
of mental health. In order to ensure psychosocial
well-being of people and more versatile assistance to persons
with problems of mental health the Strategy on Mental
Health of Lithuania is being developed. A particular attention
will be given for children‘s mental health. Lithuania
will implement the project “Mental Health of Children and
Teens after the EU Enlargement: Development of Effective
Policy and Practices” funded from EU structural funds.
In order to strengthen health of children and youth
much attention will be given to the health care reform in
schools, activities of schools strengthening health will be
developed. The goal of health care in schools is to help
school children to preserve and strengthen their health, to
implement measures related to prevention of diseases and
traumas. Public health care specialists or community nurses
that completed the special health education programme
for schools work in Lithuanian schools. Health care professionals
working together with teachers, parents and specialists
of psychological and social assistance can help a young
individual to form a positive view to his or her health as the
most precious value, to encourage children and adolescents
to preserve and improve their health, to attain skills of better
living and to realize their role in the society.
Traumata and accidents, the group taking the third
place among all death reasons in Lithuania prevention is
chosen as one of priority areas. In 2006 the second stage
of State Traumatism Prevention Program 2000-2010 is
being developed. After establishing its’ measures observation
system of traumata and accidents and EU norms regarding
pre-inpatient and inpatient help providing methods
(ATLS®, PHTLS®) will be introduced. Seeking
to reduce mortality and disability of people that have
sustained severe traumata, the complex help system for
people who sustained severe injuries, using EU structural
funds (2007-2013) allots will be established while investing
to health care institutions that function as Centres of
Traumata and infrastructure of emergency medical aid.
Another important task is to preserve and strengthen
people’s health: it is provided to implement educational
measures of healthy lifestyle that encourages physical exercises,
healthier food and refusal of bad habits.
After Lithuanian Parliament had ratificated Word Health
Organization‘s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control,
the National Programme for Tobacco Control was revised.
The results of the poll conducted in the country in 2005
showed that 74.7% of the Lithuanian population are against
smoking in restaurants, cafes, bars and other public premises.
Considering the opinion of country‘s population, the Ministry
of Health proposes to amend the provisions of the Law on
Tobacco Control and according to it from 2007 January the
first to prohibit smoking in public catering premises.
The goal of implementation of the measures of the National
Drug Control and Drug Addiction Prevention Programme
for 2004 – 2008 is to reduce the use of narcotic and psychoac34
tive substances. Measures of medical, psychological and social
rehabilitation services that have been started to implement for
children using psychoactive substances would enable to develop
the provision of efficient and research-based services not
only to children but also for their families.
At growing HIV/AIDS epidemic in the world, it is
very important to protect the society from spread of this
infection. Currently the National HIV/AIDS Prevention
and Control Programme for 2003-2008 is implemented
which aim is to remain a country of low HIV/AIDS
spread until 2010.
People‘s health and quality of life is related to a clean
and sustainable environment determined by physical, social,
psychological and even aesthetical factors. In 2003,
the Government of the Republic of Lithuania approved
the National Environmental Health Action Programme
for 2003-2006 which aim is to ensure that an environment
would not pose a threat to people‘s health and in such a
way to improve health of the Lithuanian population.
Following the provisions of the EURATOM Treaty
and the guidelines of the International Atomic Energy
Agency, the Law on Management of Radioactive Waste,
the Law on Nuclear Energy and other laws that regulate
requirements for radiation and nuclear protection have
been adopted. In order to protect people from negative
effects of ionizing radiation the state supervises and
controls activities with sources of ionizing radiation and
monitors individual exposure, exposure of a work place,
foodstuffs, construction materials and natural exposure.
Reduction of communicable diseases remains one of the
priority fields of the public health sector. Implementing the
National Immunoprophylaxis Programme, during the last
decade morbidity by whooping-cough, measles, epidemic
parotitis and rubella significantly decreased and cases of
congenital rubella syndrome or newborn tetanus were not
recorded, morbidity by hepatitis B is decreasing. In addition,
Lithuania has started to implement the computerized system
of notification about communicable diseases which will be
connected to the EU Network of Communicable Diseases.
Nutrition of the country‘s population is another field
of concern. In order to improve knowledge of a society on
healthy nutrition and to form skills of healthy nutrition,
the National Food and Nutrition Strategy is implemented
which main goal is to strengthen health of the population
and to reduce diseases spreading due to improper nutrition.
Due to the aim to prevent life and health of Lithuanian
population form the negative impact of noise the 25th of June,
2002 European Parliament and Council Directive 2002/49/
EB, devoted to evaluation and management environmental
noise, has been implemented, and the Ministry of Health
was initiating the preparation of the Noise Management and
Prevention, which in 2004 was approved by the Seimas of
Lithuania. The State Noise Strategic Cartography programme,
which provides possibilities to evaluate the main impact of
noise that comes from transport and industrial objects on population
(especially on schools and hospitals areas) of the biggest
Lithuanian towns, was prepared and approved. The State
Noise Prevention Programme, which aimed on diminishing
of negative noise impact (according noise related diseases) is
being prepared. In 2006 the Noise Prevention Council started
its work, together with other sectors the conclusions about
noise regulations and the implementation of noise prevention
programmes are provided to the Government.
One of the most important common tasks of individual
and public health care is implementation of prevention
programmes of chronic diseases. Also, the community
health promotion and the healthy lifestyle education
programmes are being implemented.

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