Kaunas - Healthy City
Detailed description of the Good Practice
Kaunas is the second biggest city of Lithuania with its 400,000 inhabitants.
Since 1989 Kaunas is a member of WHO Healthy Cities project, when the City Council committed itself to direct the politics towards the health promotion, prevention and equalities. During the Phase III Kaunas city adopted the Public health strategy (2001), Environmental policy (1999) and "Local Agenda-21" that was prepared in 1998. They are related with each other and built on the principles of Health for All and Sustainable development with regard to the national documents. The city general plan was developed over the last few years. The main principles of HFA and Agenda 21 are integrated in this plan due to the efforts of former Kaunas HCP office. Some NGOs contributed to the development of this plan; community was provided with possibilities to discuss and give their suggestions. Kaunas conducts environmental monitoring analysing the data on the neighbourhood level. Public health monitoring at city level is being carried out since 1998. In the field of development of collaboration with community Kaunas NGOs support centre is very active partner. The Centre provides NGOs with the training, information, the latest updates in the legislation concerning the community rights, mechanisms of participation in decision making process. Another partner that plays key role is the Community Health Board. The Board referring to the Kaunas Public Health strategy defines the priorities for health promotion programmes funded by Municipality Health Fund. Kaunas schools are active participants of "Health promoting schools and kindergartens" and the projects that deal with education for sustainable development.
It is worth of mentioning some projects that had the strategically dimensions for the development of collaboration with community and changing attitudes in the education field:
- "Improving public health communication impact" - to involve more mass media in the health promo-tion activities and to help health promoters to improve communication with the public.
- "Implementation of Arhus convention in Kaunas municipality policy" - to promote community activity in participation in health decision making and to support the development of intersectoral collaboration.
- "Integration of education for sustainable development principles in formal education system of Kaunas municipality" - to integrate sustainable development principles in the main strategical documents that cover education issues in the city. Kaunas city joined the movement "European cities against drugs", negotiates upon the possibilities to join the project "Youth friendly services". We do support and par-ticipate in the international events such as Day of dance, Clean up the world, Day without a car. In Oc-tober of 2003 Kaunas HCP office was reorganized and the function of project coordination was taken over by Kaunas city municipality Health care division.
More Details of the Good Practice
Deputy Head of Health Care Department
Kaunas City Munitcipality
Laisves av. 96
Tel: +370 37202835
Fax +370 37433539
Data sources and references
Baltic Region Healthy Cities Association
WHO Collaborating Centre for Healthy Cities and Urban Health in the Baltic Region