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With Swiss precision we protect health

Poland uses not only European Funds. We received nearly half a million Swiss francs for disease prevention programmes, environmental protection, scientific cooperation, improvement of transport infrastructure in cities and support for local communities. Implementation of the Swiss-Polish Cooperation Programme has already reached the halfway point. All projects have been launched. The Programme will be implemented until mid-2017. Initial effects of the Polish-Swiss cooperation are already visible.

Preventing overweight and obesity as well as chronic diseases by education on nutrition and physical activity of the society  – CHF 4.5 million 

• 1,600 schools and kindergartens participating in the programme for a healthy diet and physical activity

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been acting to prevent obesity for years. It was joined by the National Food and Nutrition Institute (IŻŻ), which launched an obesity combating programme thanks to aid from the Swiss fund. People who are unable to tackle excess weight can participate in the programme until 2016. Specialised 12-week weight loss programmes, organised in many cities throughout Poland, have already brought about visible effects. Their participants have lost on average 6 kg, and the record holders lost 11 kg and 16 kg!

The Institute does not forget the youngest either, as positive dietary habits formed in the initial years of their lives will pay off in the future. The Institute prepared informational and educational activities intended to encourage children to physical activity, and Pascal Brodnicki explained what a well-balanced meal should look like.

A campaign Read labels was carried out in cooperation with a popular discount store chain. It was aimed at helping consumers make informed food choices.
Prevention of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections  – CHF 3.9 million

• 25,000 patients tested for HCV, including 5,000 pregnant women

Research shows that one in 100 adults suffers from hepatitis C. As many such people (even 90% of infected individuals!) are not aware they are infected, the National Institute of Hygiene organised nationwide informational and educational activities to familiarise Poles with this topic and encourage them to take tests. HCV is a disease that gives no symptoms and may lead to liver cirrhosis and/or cancer. Detecting HCV does not require highly specialised tests – all you need to do is take a blood screening test for antibodies. The programme covered the personnel of diagnostic stations and health care establishments who come into direct contact with patients, as well as non-medical sector staff who perform medical procedures during which they are exposed to patients’ blood.

Education, promotion and prevention as regards oral health care directed to small children, their parents, careers and educators  – over CHF 5 million

• 2,900 kindergartens covered by the oral health protection programme

Pampiś Bunny from the project by the Poznań Medical University is a specialist in oral hygiene – he never parts with his toothbrush and encourages the youngest kids to take care of their teeth too. Bunny’s advice will surely be helpful, as it is estimated that as many as 85% of kindergarten pupils and 90% of school-age children in Poland suffer from decay. This is not only the effect of negligence, avoiding a dentist and inappropriate diet, but first and foremost kids not developing positive habits.

The prevention campaign covered the entire Poland – it is estimated that nearly 300,000 kids aged up to 5 will participate. Support is also provided to parents, carers and paediatric care practitioners.

Prophylactic programme for the prevention of addiction to alcohol, tobacco, and other psychoactive substances  – CHF 3.4 million

• 234 companies covered by the addiction prevention programme
• 78,721 students of upper secondary schools covered by the educational programme

The national programme for the prevention of addictions is intended primarily for pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy in the future. The programme’s information campaigns make future moms aware of the influence of psychoactive substances, such as alcohol, drugs and nicotine, on their bodies and on their unborn children. The preventive programme is a response to the problem. It makes young women and their relatives aware of the harmfulness of using specific substances, in particular during pregnancy. 

The programme is implemented with support from the Swiss fund, which financed many promotional materials and trainings. The educational programme devoted to prevention reaches the students of upper secondary schools. Combating addictions is also the objective of an informational and educational website as well as of activities implemented in companies and of trainings for medical practitioners.

Support for social welfare units (in particular for social welfare homes and children’s homes)

• 37 social welfare organisational units co-financed with about PLN 65 million
• 1,200 trained employees of social welfare homes and childcare centres in the framework of 419 trainings and courses
• 349 trained nurses
• 202 minor medical equipment items acquired

Under projects supporting social welfare units, their personnel working directly with the residents was trained inter alia in music therapy, relaxation techniques, stimulating the activity of senior residents, garden therapy (therapy by gardening activities, training in designing and setting up health gardens). In addition, trainings were organised in innovative rehabilitation methods. The knowledge thus acquired will be used for the benefit of welfare home residents, to provide them with new interesting forms of therapy, activity and support. Thanks to trainings, the standard of social services provided in 32 social welfare homes and five childcare centres will improve, and thus also the quality of lives of their residents.

In addition, 37 social care homes and children’s homes were refurbished. It envisaged thermomodernisation, garden revitalisation, providing equipment for occupational therapy and rehabilitation rooms, and removing architectural barriers.