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Healthy Cities 21st Century

News

The World Health Organization initiative in Belfast, Belfast Healthy Cities, has appointed a new Chairman, Dr David Stewart and two new Board members, Danny McQuillan and Michael Gibbs. 
 
Belfast Healthy Cities today launched their plans to make Belfast a child friendly, inclusive, global city at their ‘Health at the Heart of Belfast’ event in City Hall.
 
The plans were set out in two documents which make the response to Belfast City Council’s consultation to their Belfast Agenda and the first stage of the Local Development Plan. These documents ‘Tackling inequalities in a fast changing Belfast’ and  ‘A Plan Fit for Children’ draw from the experiences of healthy cities from right across the World Health Organization network.

The flagship capacity building programme drew to a close this week with participants receiving certificates from the Belfast Healthy Cities Chair, Dr David Stewart, for successful completion of programme.

The programme saw 24 participants from a range of statutory and community and voluntary organisations undertake 4 modules facilitated by Erica Ison, WHO Expert Advisor and Specialist in Health Equity in All Policies and Belfast Healthy Cities.

Following on from last week’s event with schools from South, East and West Belfast, Belfast Healthy Cities again provided a platform for local children from North Belfast to give their views on the development of Child Friendly spaces in Belfast under the theme ‘Healthy Places, Healthy Children’ with Belfast Lord Mayor Nuala McAllister in attendance.

Health Literacy Group

Local health professionals from across Derry City and Strabane District Council area have successfully completed a training programme aimed at helping to reduce the impact of low health literacy.

The programme, which was completed by 11 health professionals from across Derry City and Strabane District Council and the wider area had three aims:

There has been a noticeable increase recently in the number of news stories about children’s health, and the publication this week of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health’s (RCPCH) ‘State of child health’ report has brought into sharp focus the need to deal with this important health issue at a local level.

Belfast Healthy Cities today provided a platform for local children to give their views on the development of Child Friendly spaces in Belfast under the theme ‘Healthy Places, Healthy Children’ with Belfast Lord Mayor Nuala McAllister in attendance.

Pupils from Cranmore Integrated Primary School, Glenveagh School and St Kevin’s Primary School gathered in the Girdwood Community Hub to discuss how the physical environment around children can impact their health.

Belfast Healthy Cities Chief Executive, Joan Devlin, attended the ‘Well-being for all – equity and health’ conference organised by the City of Reykjavik and Directorate of Health, Reykjavik.  Joan was invited to give a presentation on ‘Healthy Cities – Connected for Health’ including the experience of Belfast being a healthy city across all six phases since the inception of the European Healthy Cities Network.   

On 22 February, Belfast Healthy Cities hosted an election hustings event in collaboration with the MAC, as part of the MAC Question Time series. A panel of Assembly candidates including Claire Hanna from SDLP, Pat Sheehan from Sinn Féin and Mike Nesbitt from UUP responded to questions from an audience of over 70 health sector professionals, chaired by BBC health correspondent Marie-Louise Connolly.

The challenge of how to address increasing health inequality was discussed at a seminar on 18 January. The Reducing Inequalities: Getting Results seminar took place at Queen’s University Belfast and saw more than 100 professionals across sectors come together to hear speakers from Slovenia and Manchester share their experience of tackling inequalities through direct policy action and preventative measures.

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