• The Catalan Public Health Agency and the World Health Organisation (WHO) held a meeting in Barcelona to promote the large-scale implementation in Europe of BRIEF intervention policies

The Ministry of Health Subdirectorate-General for Addictions, HIV, STIs and Viral Hepatitisand the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Europe held an international expert meeting in Barcelona on intervention policies for chronic diseases in Europe.

The meeting, coordinated by both organisations, brought together more than 50 representatives from different European countries and Catalonia as well as WHO professionals and experts to discuss the large-scale integrated implementation of BRIEF intervention policies related to the main risk factors for chronic diseases in the European region.

As part of the meeting, the Catalan Public Health Agency presented the SumaSalut programme, which has been recognised by the WHO as a good practice in the framework of the international BRIEF intervention policies project due to its good results and procedures for action.

SumaSalut, a programme for the promotion of healthy living and prevention

SumaSalut is a programme to promote healthy living and prevention which encompasses the Beveu Menys (Drink Less), Primària sense FUM (Primary Care Without Smoke), Activitat Física Saludable (Healthy Physical Activity) and Alimentació Saludable (Healthy Eating) programmes in primary and community care in Catalonia. Catalonia has been coordinating collaborative efforts for the implementation of these programmes for more than 20 years, meaning it can now share essential lessons with the rest of Europe on how to achieve large-scale implementation across a region.

Within the framework of the SumaSalut programme, there are currently 878 professionals spread across 318 primary care centres throughout Catalonia (82% of the total). Each year, the programme organises more than 20 courses and trains more than 3,000 primary care professionals. In addition, it organises more than 500 awareness-raising week activities every year, together with more than 100 organisations.

During the three-day meeting with the WHO, good practices and progress achieved in this area in the various EU countries were shared. One of the specific issues discussed was the intention to create a platform for exchange between experts and representatives from different countries to discuss and share tools that have proven useful in large-scale implementation. Another area to be worked on is the identification of priority actions to move this process forward in the countries of the European region.