International Health Promoters to convene at NUI Galway and Promote Best Practic

Tuesday, 6 June 2006

NUI Galway's Department of Health Promotion is hosting the 10th Annual Health Promotion Conference on 8-9th June. This event will bring together an international group of health promotion practitioners, academics and policy makers to debate the future of health promotion in Ireland.

The 10th Annual Health Promotion Conference is taking place just when the re-organisation of the Irish Health Service poses opportunities and challenges for health promotion, and the future development and growth of health promotion within these new structures.

Margaret Barry, Professor of Health Promotion and Public Health at NUI Galway, commented, "This is an exciting opportunity to learn about international developments in how best to promote the health of our population. This conference provides us with the forum to debate the best way forward for Ireland".

One of the key-note speakers, Dr. Tang Kwok-Cho from the World Health Organisation, will discuss the Bangkok Charter for Health Promotion in a Globalised World, and what needs to be done in countries to achieve health for all. According to Dr. Kwok-Cho, "The Bangkok Charter for Health Promotion in a Globalised World urges all sectors to act together to achieve health for all by addressing the determinants of health through commitments to make the promotion of health central to global development".

At the conference, Dr Claude Rocan, from the Public Health Agency of Canada, will discuss how the environments in which we live are as important to our health as our lifestyles. In Canada, the concept of health promotion has evolved over time, with an early focus on individual behaviour followed by a move to how our environment, in the broadest sense, impacts on health status and health outcomes. Dr Rocan will emphasise the importance of having good evidence for the decisions we make within the health services.

The impact of globalisation on health will be addressed by Dr. Peadar Kirby of the Centre for International Studies at Dublin City University (DCU). He will discuss the Irish experience of globalisation and shifting political power, including the social and health impact of globalization.

The conference will showcase best practice examples of health promotion across Ireland. Speakers from throughout the country will present projects that aim to improve the health and well-being of the community. These include the impact of the Smoking Ban as well as initiatives to improve health in the workplace, in schools and in local communities.

Participants from across Ireland and abroad will debate the future of training, accreditation and standards for people working in the health promotion field. Maria Lordon-Dunphy from the Population Health Directorate, Health Services Executive will discuss the current population health approach within the HSE and the vision of the HSE to enhance the health of people living in Ireland.

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For further information contact, Ms Natalie Walsh, Health Promotion Research Centre, Department of Health Promotion, NUI Galway. Tel + 353 91 492722 Email: Christina.Costello@nuigalway.ie

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