Barents Health Programme
The Barents Health Cooperation Programme was launched in March 1999. In 2003, a new Barents Health and Social Programme was adopted. In 2005, a unique Barents HIV Programme was adopted.
The official health cooperation in the Barents Region is developed by regional and national/federal health authorities in four countries, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. A Working Group on Health and Social-relating Issues (WGHS) meets regulary to follow up the programme. The WGHS is operating in conjunction with the Barents Regional Council and the Barents Euro Arctic Council, as well as other international structures in the region, among them the Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being.
In October 2003, a new and enhanced health and social programme for the years 2004-2007 was adopted by the Barents Euro Arctic Council (BEAC). The Cooperation Programme on Health and Related Social Issues in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region 2004-2007 has a stronger emphasis on social aspects, multilateral action and coordination than the first programme. Special attention will be paid to gender mainstreaming, children and young people, and to vulnerable groups in the population.
Priority areas in the programme are defined as:
- Prevention and combat of communicable diseases
- Prevention of lifestyle related health and social problems and promotion of healthy lifestyles
- Development and integration of primary health care and social services
The Cooperation Programme on Health and Related Social Issues in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region 2004-2007 has been developed with the Second Northern Dimension Action Plan and the Northern Dimension Partnership in Health and Social Wellbeing in mind, and is intended to constitute a key component of the Partnership.
In February 2005, the Barents Working Group on Health and Social-related Issues (WGHS) adopted the Barents HIV/AIDS Programme. The new programme will help coordinate and strengthen international efforts in the fight against HIV and AIDS in the region.