A series of events held by the Center for Communicable Diseases and AIDS on 4-6 October brought together nearly 400 participants: politicians, medical profession, social workers, representatives from educational establishments, scientists, practitioners, and community members
at the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences where the 2nd International Vilnius Conference on Communicable Diseases and the XIV Congress of Baltic Association
The participants were welcomed via video
by the European commissioner
for Health and Food Safety
Dr. Vytenis Povilas Adriukaitis. Minister of Health and Chair of the opening plenary session prof. Dr. Aurelius Veryga also wished them every success.
A. Veryga said, that the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that many infectious diseases are spreading today much more rapidly than before. In the 1960s, it was expected that most communicable diseases will have been eradicated by now . But before long it became clear that we rejoiced too soon: some diseases, such as tuberculosis and measles that we considered to be eliminated, have returned recently to high morbidity levels. In addition, new threats, new ways
by which you can get infected
"Annual incidence of communicable diseases accounts for one fifth of all registered diseases in Lithuania. Mostly people of working age and children are affected by communicable diseases in Lithuania, and this is a huge burden on the state economy," the minister said.
Also in his speech, A.Veryga noted that although we observe a decreasing tendency of certain diseases, high volumes of vaccination and the increasing public awareness about infection prevention, we have one of the highest meningococcal infection rates in Europe, and alarmingly high rates of drug resistant tuberculosis. Despite comprehensive efforts of national and regional educational establishments, we still face insufficient influenza vaccination coverage not only among the public but also in the medical community, which increases the costs for the whole society during seasonal influenza epidemics.
"Holding International Conferences on Communicable Diseases in Lithuania is one of the comprehensive initiatives and activities of the Centre for Communicable Diseases and AIDS, which brings together action partners and aims at contributing to the emergence of the learning, intelligent and responsible, society, in other words, at contributing to Lithuania's progress. I welcome this initiative I wish it every success, sustainability and creativity for the future," - said the Minister of Health at the opening of the conference.
As the epidemiology of communicable diseases is changing and migration is accelerating, noted the Health Minister, it is presently very important to assess new challenges and threats posted by communicable diseases. Hence, international cooperation with the World Health Organization, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, professional medical societies, science and educational institutions is highly important in preparation of national disease prevention and treatment standards, and efforts to ensure the quality of public health care.
"International Conferences on Communicable Disease held by The Centre for Communicable Diseases and AIDS is a form of cooperation, progress and dissemination of innovative practices, which brings together hundreds of specialists not only from Lithuania but also from other countries and allows for sharing good practices and achievements," said the Head of the Organizing Committee of the event, Director of the Center for Communicable Diseases and AIDS, Prof., Dr. Saulius Čaplinskas.
Additional information: 73 lecturers from 26 countries, approximately 121 conference presentations , approximately 400 listeners and active discussions.