Aids and child obesity on agenda for Informal Meeting of Health Ministers

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The Informal Meeting of Health Ministers will be an opportunity to discuss the prevention of childhood obesity, structured co-operation between health systems and HIV/AIDS.
Rapid increases in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children of all ages is posing a burden on EU countries. The far-reaching consequences of childhood obesity run throughout the life course and results in a myriad of complications including cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease and cancer. Hence, childhood obesity is a major public health concern.  The Informal Meeting of Health Ministers calls upon health ministers’ concerted efforts to explore ways of halting the rise in childhood obesity.
Sustaining high quality health systems has become a key challenge for many policy makers seeking to reconcile fiscal sustainability targets with the provision of innovative and highly specialised technologies and services to citizens. During the informal meeting, health ministers will discuss priority areas for enhanced voluntary cross-border collaboration in the procurement of health technologies for Rare Diseases and training of medical specialists. Appropriate mechanisms to facilitate joint work whilst respecting the principle of subsidiarity will be discussed.
During the last decade, despite impressive gains in reducing the number of AIDS diagnoses, the burden of HIV infection remains unacceptably high in Europe.  Each year about 30 000 people are newly diagnosed with HIV in the EU/EEA, and almost another 110 000 people are known to be infected in the broader European Region.  Health ministers will discuss how they can further scale up responses to fast track actions on HIV.
Aim
The Informal Meeting will be an opportunity for health ministers to further shape the future health agenda on the prevention of childhood obesity, structured co-operation between health systems and HIV/AIDS for the benefit of European Union citizens.
Photo. Health Minister Chris Fearne greeting Philip Dunne, Minister of State for Health of the United Kingdom, ahead of Ministerial meeting.