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News | Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Longer, healthier lives

Academies make recommendations for improving health promotion in Germany and addressing global challenges

Longer, healthier lives

Image: © Zerbor / fotolia.com

In recent decades, enormous successes have been achieved in the field of public health. Three examples of these are the fight against HIV, the reduction in cardiovascular disease, and protection for non-smokers. For Germany to make even better use of the potential of public health, it needs more political support, improved research structures, and stronger international involvement. The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, acatech – the National Academy of Science and Engineering, and the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities point this out in a joint statement entitled “Public Health in Germany – Structures, Developments and Global Challenges”, published today.

Public health is the science and practice of preventing disease, prolonging life, and improving quality of life across an entire population. The concept covers the general promotion of health via comprehensive, organised measures
 at all levels of society. Research questions and measures related to public health affect all sectors of the healthcare system, the education and social systems, and parts of the economy.

Germany is doing outstanding research on various aspects of public health. However, the structures in research, teaching and practice are not yet optimally developed – especially considering the major international challenges that exist. In their “Public Health in Germany” statement, the academies make recommendations on how the field can be improved in Germany.

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