Spring Symposium 2013

Primary Health Care and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Eastern Europe and Central Asia: Where do we stand and where to go?

Over the past two decades health systems in Eastern Europe and Central Asia have undergone substantial changes in their financing and methods of service delivery. In many countries a shift from hospital centred, to primary health care focused systems, has taken place: the number of hospital beds and hospitals have been significantly reduced, and family doctors sometimes embedded in family medicine teams, are today the first point of contact to deliver essential services to the population. At the same time non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cardio-vascular disease or diabetes, have
become more predominant and are today responsible for a considerable share of the burden of disease in these countries.
The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute's Spring Symposium 2013 allowed participants to learn from recent experiences in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in strengthening primary health care services from the NCD prevention and treatment point of view. The symposium exposed and examined the following aspects of NCDs in Eastern Europe and Central Asia:

  • The evidence base and the emerging implementation research agenda for NCDs
  • Achievements, challenges and obstacles to primary health care delivery
  • Innovative approaches to NCD prevention and control in primary health care settings
  • The future of primary health care with emphasis on service delivery in relation to NCDs

Invited speakers from the Institute, as well as partners from multilateral and bilateral agencies, NGOs and the health research community presented the latest available information from the field on current initiatives at local and national level, and discussed these questions with the participants.


The Swiss Centre for International Health and the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, on behalf of the Swiss TPH, thank the speakers and guests for making this event a complete success.