Aase Rennesund is the head of The Public Health Programme in Østfold.
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Tuesday, 21 September 2010 09:27

EU contributes with almost 500 000 Euros to a public health survey of more than 20,000 people in Østfold and Vidzeme in 2011.

– We need knowledge to determine where to perform preventive work and health promotion. In addition, this survey is one of several tools we can use to observe changes in Østfold people’s health, says Aase Rennesund, head of The Public Health Programme in Østfold, which is the regional public health partnership in the county.

The survey follows up both the HEPRO Survey in 2006 and Østfold Health Profile in 2004. In the latter, 18,000 people in Østfold for example answered questions among other things relating to their health, local environment and views of municipal services and immediate environment.

siv_jacobsen_smallSiv Jacobsen is the leader of the public health committee in Moss municipality.The new HEPROGRESS survey will probably be carried out in the autumn of 2011 and will in Østfold be called “Østfold Health Profile 2011”. The survey will result in all the municipalities receiving local information to help them in the planning of their services to the population. The people in the Latvian municipalities participating in the project will also be asked the questions.

– What we want to do is to challenge the municipalities to find their own ways and means of financing parts of the project to obtain comparable data between the parts of a city. In order to succeed, we need a wider selection in the cities than what has been financed so far. At least, big cities in Østfold, like Sarpsborg, Moss, Halden and Fredrikstad, should consider this so that in the future it will be possible to target the initiatives exactly where they have the greatest challenges, says Rennesund.

Østfold University College participates in the project through research and by providing for relevant training. Moss and Hobøl municipalities also take part in the programme.

– Østfold County Council had costs of approximately NOK50,000 in designing the project application that resulted in support from the European Union amounting to about NOK4 million. This is proof that there is a lot to be got from international work, says Siv Jacobsen, leader of the public health committee in Moss municipality.

Østfold County Council contributes a little less than NOK1 million to the project.

– This is an inspiration to continue work with international affairs. Other countries are often ahead of Norway in important questions. It is important to make use of this competence. In this project we will, for example, prepare a module in the questionnaire which is now being developed in Eurostat, which is EU’s statistical office. In other words, we shall be one of the first regions in Europe, if not the very first one, to implement this tool. It will give us entirely new health information relating to risk groups in Moss, says Jacobsen.
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