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From May 22 to 26, Ukraine will support the European Public Health Week

23 May 2023

The purpose of the European Public Health Week is to raise awareness of this topic among the population, to explain the importance of early diagnosis and prevention of diseases, including primary preventive health check-ups.

Non-communicable diseases remain the leading cause of disability and premature death in Ukraine. These include cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and lung diseases.

“If before the full-scale invasion, almost 90% of premature deaths were caused by lung diseases, cardiovascular diseases and cancer, the situation is further complicated in wartime. People visit doctors less often, which will soon lead to an increase in diseases that were not diagnosed in time. Despite the military challenges, the medical system is functioning, and every citizen can visit a doctor and receive medical services provided by the medical care package, including recommended preventive examinations, free of charge. And this is necessary because most non-communicable diseases can be prevented through early diagnosis and prevention,” said Deputy Minister, Chief State Sanitary Doctor Ihor Kuzin.

As part of the European Public Health Week in Ukraine, diabetes screenings and blood pressure measurements will be held at the Public Health Center and at the bases of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in most regions, which will facilitate early diagnosis of diseases and allow for timely prevention.

According to the World Health Organization, 80% of premature heart attacks and strokes can be prevented through primary prevention - lifestyle changes. This means a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and avoidance of tobacco and alcohol, as well as constant monitoring of blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar.

For reference: The European Public Health Week has been held annually since 2019 at the initiative of the WHO Regional Office for Europe. Each day is dedicated to a different public health issue. The plan for 2023:

  • May 22: mental health;
  • May 23: diversity in health care;
  • May 24: access to care;
  • May 25: prevention and control of chronic diseases;
  • May 26: global health emergencies and response.