The Estonian Public Health Act defines promotion of health as development of a way of life and behaviour which promotes and values people's health, as well as a systematic improvement of health-supporting physical and social environment.
One of the fundamental ground ideas of health promotion is to transform the environment to make healthy choices easily accessible.
Therefore, health promotion is a comprehensive social and political process, which comprises both activities directed towards the increase of people's skills and knowledge as well as activities aiming at the change of social, environmental and economic conditions.
Topics that we address in health promotion:
- Prevention of hazardous and harmful drinking
- Prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases
- Promotion of child and youth health
- Prevention of drug addiction
- Health promotion in communities
- Health promotion in health care institutions
- Health promotion in kindergartens
- Health promotion in schools
- Health promotion in workplaces
- Healthy nutrition
- Decrease of tobacco consumption
- Prevention of tuberculosis
- Prevention and early detection of breast and cervical cancer
The above-mentioned activities are implemented through the following state-funded public health programs:
- National HIV/AIDS Prevention Strategy for 2006–2015
- National Drug Prevention Strategy until 2012
- Tuberculosis Prevention Program 2008–2012
- As part of the National Health Plan "Prevention of cardiovascular diseases"
- National Cancer Strategy for 2007–2015
- As a part of the National Health Plan "Secure and Healthy Development of Children and Youth"
Since 2010 the European Social Fund program "Supportive Actions for Healthy Decisions 2010–2013" supports implementation of national strategies and programs with additional resources.
Our health-promoting activities are closely linked to scientific research in the field of public health. The prevention of, for example cardiovascular diseases or breast and cervical cancer, as well as the related monitoring and evaluation systems are hence at the same time connected to respective research areas.
Our researches study both the impact of known risk factors, and the extent to which diseases could be prevented with the assistance of healthy lifestyle and/or relevant attention to risk factors.