Wednesday 23 April 2008

Mary @ WHO Euro Immunisation Week in Slovenia

Slovenia's First Lady Barbara Turk and Crown Princess Mary. Photos ©

Today Crown Princess Mary has travelled to Ljubljana in Slovenia to launch the World Health Organisation's European Immunisation Week at Ljubljana Palace with the First Lady of Slovenia, Barbara Miklic Türk. Before the launch Mary visited the Health Centre of Ljubljana-Šiška and the National Institute of Public Health of the Republic of Slovenia, which was founded in 1923 and is concerned with many research efforts in health education, WHO public health work (HIV/AIDS and health prevention), mental health research, participation in various international and national health research and other projects, anti tobacco and alcohol programs, etc. Crown Princess Mary, who is patron to the European Immunization Week, launched the event together with Dr Marc Danzon, WHO Regional Director for Europe, while the event is hosted by the First Lady, Mrs Barbara Miklic Türk, wife of the President of the Republic of Slovenia. Mary and Dr Marc Danzon include addressing members of the diplomatic corps, health officials and the media in their program during the two day visit.

Crown Princess Mary's Speech launching Immunization Week (23 April 2008):

First lady, Regional Director, distinguished guests,
It was with pleasure that I accepted the invitation to say a few words on the occasion of the launch of the European Immunization Week – a week dedicated to strengthening immunization programmes and raising awareness of the benefits of vaccination throughout the European region.
As Patron of the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, I am committed, along with many others, to helping improve the health and well-being of the people of the European region. In particular those lacking access to basic medical services.
Immunization saves lives. Apart from safe drinking water, no other health intervention has reduced diseases and mortality as effectively and safely as immunization. No child should suffer from illness, a lifelong disability or die due to vaccine-preventable diseases.
Immunization now reaches over 90% of the children in this region. However, discrepancies in population groups still persist and a large number of unvaccinated children can be found in countries throughout the region. These vulnerable or hard-to-reach children must be reached with life-saving vaccines.
Due to the achievements of immunization, incidences of dangerous vaccine preventable infections have declined leaving weakened fear of these diseases. Furthermore, many health care professionals and parents have no first hand experience with illnesses such as measles, diphtheria and pertussis. As a result, continued advocacy and effective communication on the necessity of immunization remains crucial.
It is the right of every child to grow up healthy, and vaccinated against those diseases that can so easily be controlled. I hope that the countries within the region will act quickly and effectively to ensure that children and adults, especially those in vulnerable and hard-to-reach groups, have access to immunization and basic health services.
The importance of immunization cannot be underestimated. The diversity of the region creates enormous challenges in your efforts to reach your common goal of increasing vaccination coverage. I wish you and the region’s member states every success in achieving that goal.
Good luck and thank you.

Screencaps from clip posted below,

World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe
WHO Immunization in the European Region - aims for vaccine-preventable diseases and immunization
WHO focus on Slovenia
Medical News Blog 'Immunization: The Success Paradox - 33 Countries From Ireland To Tajikistan Take Part In European Immunization Week 2008'

National Institute of Public Health (pdf)
GENDEP research at the National Institute of Public Health (one of the Institute's WHO connected projects on mental health and depression research)
Projects at the National Institute of Public Health, Slovenia
Slovenia - country info
Slovenia photo gallery
TrekEarth Slovenia photo gallery video clip (01:14) - may be slow to load on slow connections

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Blogger Sternchen said...

Great to see Mary takes part at WHO Euro Immunisation Week :)
It is strange to see that more and more people decide against immunisation for their children and put them and other children at an unnecessary risk!

It is also nice to see Caroline :)

6:31 pm  

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