SMDP Collaborations in Europe
Working with Local Health Teams to Improve Community Health
The Croatia “Healthy Counties” program, developed in collaboration with CDC, employs a participatory approach to the implementation of new chronic disease prevention interventions. Working through the Andrija Stampar School for Public Health, Management for International Public Health graduates are helping city and county health teams improve program planning and management through citizen engagement. In 2003, Healthy Counties was accredited as a postgraduate training course by the Medical School, University of Zagreb, and the Croatian Medical and Dental Chamber. To date, more than 300 professionals on teams from 20 counties and the City of Zagreb have completed strategic frameworks for county health plans. Six teams are implementing detailed plans and the remainder are refining their plans or negotiating for support to implement them. The leading causes of death in Croatia are noncommunicable diseases, largely cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
SMDP partners with Field Epidemiologists and Laboratorians to Strengthen Disease Surveillance
CDC is working with the United States Department of Defense (DOD) Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) to build laboratory management and surveillance capacity related to especially dangerous pathogens, such as plague and anthrax, for the South Caucasus Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program in Georgia.
Improving Local Health One Community at a Time
Over the past decade, Macedonia has pursued a strategy of decentralization of its public health system. While decentralization is in progress, frequently changing governments, social tensions and ongoing economic problems have slowed the transfer of more autonomy to the local level. The Macedonia “Healthy Communities” program, developed in collaboration with CDC, employs a participatory approach to encourage local public health professionals to plan and implement chronic disease prevention programs. Partners include the Faculty of Medicine at the University of St. Cyril & Methodius, the Ministry of Health, the Soros Foundation, the Open Society Institute, and UNICEF. Local officials responsible for community health learn program planning, budgeting, and management. To date, 17 communities have participated in the program and developed implementation plans to address community health needs.
Strengthening Local Public Health Institutions: The Community Health Development Project
After more than a decade of political and economic turmoil, Serbia is slowly rebuilding and reforming its health-care system. Because the leading causes of death are heart disease, stroke, and cancer, one goal of health reform has been to place greater emphasis on health promotion, disease prevention, and risk factor screening. With the support of the Serbia and Montenegro Ministry of Health, CDC has worked in partnership with the Centre School of Public Health at the University of Belgrade School of Medicine, the Soros Foundation, and the Open Society Institute (OSI) in Serbia to implement a community health development program. The objective of the program is to strengthen the capacity of local public health institutions to implement regional public health strategies that use evidence-based health promotion interventions. In the first phase, four regional multidisciplinary teams under the leadership of the regional Institutes of Public Health (IPH) addressed cervical cancer mortality, respiratory disease in schoolchildren, environmental allergens, and youth drug abuse. In the second phase, management and leadership capacity-building activities were implemented in general hospitals and primary health centers.