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WHO Regional Director visits Georgia

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, June 24
The World Health Organisation (WHO)'s Regional Director for Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab, paid an official visit to Georgia on 17-18 June 2010.

During her two-day visit Jakab met First Lady Sandra Elisabeth Roelofs, Prime Minister Nika Gilauri, Minister of Labour, Health and Social Affairs Alexander Kvitashvili, Parliament Vice Speakers and Committee Chairs, Head of the European Union Delegation Per Eklund and other partners.

On 18 June she visited the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) laboratories and later held a meeting with key national and international partners, prominent representatives of the Georgian medical community and the local mass media.

After a welcoming address by Minister Kvitashvili Jakab presented her vision, policy and strategy for how the WHO Regional Office for Europe would achieve better health in Europe.

Zsuzsanna Jakab focused on her vision of the work of the WHO Regional Office in the changing European environment, strategic relations with member states, the further strengthening of strategic partnerships, especially with the European Union Institutions and the main priorities of WHO collaboration with Georgia for 2010-2011.

She also proposed five flagship areas of collaboration on joint health action: Building a single health security system for Europe, building a common health information system for Europe, uniting different sectors to tackle health and social determinants to improve Europe's health, sharing and exploiting identified good practice and innovations to develop and strengthen public health function within all European health systems and jointly identifying, advocating and providing the resources for key research priorities which will bring the European research community together and maintain Europe's cutting edge in research at the forefront of strengthening health development and action.

With its main office in Copenhagen, Denmark, the WHO Regional Office for Europe is one of six regional offices around the world. It serves 53 countries, including Georgia, the WHO European Region covering a vast geographical area with rich diversity, from Iceland to Israel, from Vladivostok to Dublin.

Zsuzsanna Jakab became WHO Regional Director for Europe on 1 February 2010. A native of Hungary, she has held a number of high-profile national and international public health policy positions in the last three decades. This is her first official visit to Georgia in the capacity of WHO Regional Director for Europe.