European scientists and decision-makers are meeting today in Stockholm to strengthen the role of the EU in the promotion of public health around the world. This is important in light of Europe being the world’s largest aid donor and trade zone, and because the area possesses many excellent research centres in health as well as advanced healthcare systems and democratic institutions able to serve as models for other countries to imitate.

Professor Göran Tomson at Karolinska Institutet points out that despite the EU’s profound impact on human health, it lacks a clear and common strategy for promoting health and preventing disease globally.

Over the past few years, the EU president countries have raised issues of global health onto the political agenda, and this includes Sweden.

“Sweden must become an even more active EU member state, combining bilateral, regional and global Swedish programmes with programmes within the EU,” says Anders Nordström, Director General of Sida and one of the participants at the seminar.

The seminar was arranged by Karolinska Institutet’s Public and International Health network, the Swedish EU presidency and the Global Health Europe network. The opening speakers are Maria Larsson MP, Minister for Elderly Care and Public Health, and former MEP Anders Wijkman, the seminar’s moderator. Other contributors include Otto Cars, professor of infectious diseases and a leading player in the control of antibiotic resistance, and Elisabet Lindgren, senior advisor on climate change and health.

The Geneva-based Global Health Europe network was formed in January 2008 by a group of 30 or so health organisations with the objective of bringing together a wide range of key actors from the health, diplomatic, aid and research sectors to improve human health around the world. This is not just a matter of medicine, but of economics, development, and social and cultural factors.

For further information, contact:
Professor Göran Tomson
Tel: +46-8-52483359 or +46-70-6186298
Email: goran.tomson@ki.se

Press Officer Sabina Bossi
Tel: +46-8-52486066 or +46-70-6146066
Email: Sabina.bossi@ki.se

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