by H.E. Dr. Daniela Bartos, the Minister of Health and Family
at the Ministerial Round Table "Healty Environments for Children"
The 56th World Health Assembly
World Health Organization
(Geneva, May 20, 2003)
The slogan chosen by the World Health Organization "A Healthy Environment for Children" reflects one of the major public health concerns worldwide. Romania considered it a priority field and included it in the Community Programme of Public Health of the Ministry of Health and Family with the following specific objectives:
The results of surveillance activities showed that:
It is obvious that early identification of environmental risk factors such as pollution or risky behaviours such as an unhealthy diet, smoking, alcohol or drug consumption is crucial for children's health or well-being.
In 2002 about 10 percent of the educational facilities were assessed, of which about one third in urban and rural areas are located in buildings inappropriate for school facilities.
The water supply in schools in urban areas is mainly from the public supply, but in rural areas almost 10 per cent of the schools do not have their own water supply;
A relatively high percentage of schools, a quarter in the urban areas and almost half in rural areas, have furniture either deteriorated or inadequate in size for school children. The lack of gym facilities in many schools is another big issue to be solved.
The major problems briefly listed above are serious factors that have a negative impact on children's health status contributing to the increase in prevalence of various disorders, such as:
Such conditions and disorders were found in a quarter of the half million school children and students examined.
The Ministry of Health and Family is not the only actor involved in improving educational environment conditions. An active partnership is currently in place between our ministry and the ministries of Education, Environment and the local authorities and civil society as well, to correct the above-mentioned situation.
Thank you for your attention.
Back to statements