FDFA_SDC_RGB_hoch_posThe regional learning event, taking place November 3 – 5, 2015, held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, represented a training opportunity for Swiss Cooperation Offices staff in Eastern Europe and Central Asia working in the health domain, for partners, and for program managers and thematic staff based at HQ, to strengthen and improve their knowledge and skills in identifying, planning, monitoring and steering the most appropriate cost-effective interventions aimed at tackling the issues related to the increasing burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGroup picture after the event. Download here the complete participants‘ list.


Gauden Galea, Director, Division of Non-communicable Diseases and Health Promotion at WHO/Europe, gave a short feedback on his impression of the learning event:

NCDs are the most prominent cause of mortality and morbidity in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA). Cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, cancer, diabetes, and their corresponding risk factors, could be dramatically reduced through prevention and promotion of healthy lifestyles.

After having placed special emphasis on maternal and child health, new priorities were set by SDC in the country strategies for the health sector in EECA. The strengthening of health systems take now into account the weaknesses and limitations of primary health care (PHC) services in the prevention and control of major NCDs. As NCDs are a relatively new intervention sector for SDC, it has been decided to select this subject for the present learning event.

With regards to the key speakers and other resource persons, the regional competencies are used first, in order to promote East-East exchanges and create both dynamics and synergies that could continue beyond the learning event.
In this sense, Erika Placella, Health Advisor Eastern Europe and Central Asia, shared her reflection on her own learning experience, further exchange and the continuation after this event.

Erika Placella was the initiator and main responsible person for the learning event. Contact her if you wish to receive further information:

Erika Placella
Health Advisor Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)