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TIPH Krakow report: Public health is the future!

Publication date: 07.08.2020
Author: Institute of Public Health

By Ilona Nenko, coordinator of TIPH campaign, Krakow

Public health is the future! That is the title of the This Is Public Health (TIPH) Campaign conducted in Krakow at the Institute of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences at Jagiellonian University Medical College. Our campaign had two important goals: (1) to enhance the visibility and understanding of public health in Poland, especially among secondary school students; (2) to show and promote among young people the opportunities and challenges for professional careers in public health. TIPH, Krakow focused its activities on highlighting the most up to date public health topics. In order to show the multidimensionality of public health and achieve the first goal we published a series of popular science articles on different public health issues:

  1. Psychosocial determinants of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in which Magdalena Kozela, Andrzej Paj膮k and Micha艂 Zabdyr-Jamr贸z showed how important it is to look wider into risk factors of CVD – it is not only smoking, lack of physical activity and poor diet that are associated with elevated risk of CVD. Significant increase in mortality risk due to CVD is also seen among people with low social status, symptoms of depression or low sense of control.

  2. Impact of indoor air quality on health by Bartosz Balcerzak. In recent years, awareness of the negative impact of air pollution on human health has increased. Importantly, many types of air pollution are released from products and objects found in the home. The situation is aggravated by the fact that people spend a significant amount of their time indoors and consequently are exposed to harmful factors over a long duration of time.

  3. Electronic medical documentation by Mariusz Kielar, Szczepan Jakubowski and our graduate Monika Kukla (Business Solutions Consultant in Comarch Healthcare). Electronic medical documentation is a crucial factor in the development of a modern health care system. Electronic medical documentation as a source of knowledge about the patient is the "heart" of a modern health care system, therefore, due to its implementation it is possible to further develop other elements based on medical information systems.

  4. Health Technology Assessment (HTA) by Tomasz Bochenek. HTA helps to answer the critically important question of how to spend the always limited amounts of money on very much needed health care services, medicines and medical devices. A combination of knowledge of medicine, pharmacy, economics, law, ethics and other disciplines helps to achieve public health goals.

  5. Obesity prevention by Ewa B艂aszczyk-B臋benek and Maria Kret (Polish Dietetic Association). Noncommunicable disease (NCD) is the primary health problem worldwide. Obesity is a modifiable risk factor for chronic NCD, and therefore prevention is an important goal for public health.

  6. Growing shortage of medical staff in Poland by Alicja Domaga艂a. Shortage of medical staff is currently the main challenge for Polish policy-makers and health care managers. Poland is characterized by the lowest number of practicing physicians and nurses per 1.000 population amongst European Union countries. Medical staff deficits cause many serious problems, including limited access to healthcare for patients and decreasing quality of services.

  7. Patient out-of-pocket payments for health by Marzena Tambor, Olga Partyka (national Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene), Aleksandra Czerw (Warsaw Medical University). Patients commonly pay out-of-pocket for health care services and medicines. In Poland, nearly 9% of households – approx. 3.7 million people – have very high expenditures on health, i.e., large enough spending so that people have to cut down on other necessities such as food, clothing or fuel used for cooking and heating.

  1. Inadequate health literacy by Karolina Sobecka and Sylwia W贸jcik. Research shows that low health literacy increases the risk of mismanaging medication, lack of understanding of diseases and conditions, needing emergency care and being hospitalized. Thus, one of the most important aims for modern public health and health promotion should be to provide guidance on how people may improve their health literacy.

All TIPH Krakow articles where published on the Public Health Blog established in April 2018 by Micha艂 Zabdyr-Jamr贸z. Each article was further promoted on the Institute’s social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram) in order to reach as wide an audience as possible. On Instagram every third post was a special simple graphic related to a published article. Moreover, to achieve the first goal of the campaign, TIPH Krakow planned lectures for secondary school students from southern Poland. We met with student groups starting in January and before lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic we gave seven lectures to nearly 300 pupils.

TIPH, Krakow’s second goal was to show and promote the opportunities and challenges for professional careers in public health among young people. Over the past months we published 15 interviews with public health graduates. Their stories show the very interesting and successful occupations of our alumni working in various positions within the health care systems in Poland, USA, and Taiwan. Interviews were published on our Public Health Blog and further promoted on social media. Thanks to our Facebook page alone, we were able to reach 270 000 people!

All of the TIPH, Krakow activities were made possible due to the hard work of the staff of the Institute of Public Health: Bartosz Balcerzak, Ewa B艂aszczyk-B臋benek, Tomasz Bochenek, Katarzyna Dubas-Jak贸bczyk, Alicja Domaga艂a, Maciej Furman, Szczepan Jakubowski, Mariusz Kielar, Karolina Sobecka, Marzena Tambor, Beata Pi贸recka, Sylwia W贸jcik, Micha艂 Zabdyr-Jamr贸z.

We would like to thank our external collaborators Monika Kukla, Maria Kret, Olga Partyka, and Aleksandra Czerw, who contributed to selected articles published on the Public Health Blog.

Through the TIPH, Krakow Campaign, we see even clearer now that Public health is the future! We hope and aspire to continue our work in the following days, months and years.

#ThisIsPublicHealth #TIPHEurope #ASPHERcampaign #ASPPHgoesglobal

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