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"A healthy start and life for all"

Erasmus MC organized the seminar on "A healthy start and life for all" in Brussels last week for Brussels-based officials. A delegation of Erasmus MC scientists contributed their state-of-the-art knowledge on a healthy start and life course.

Seminar 'A healthy start and life for all' 
Interactive program
Prof. Joost Gribnau, Prof. Marion Koopmans, Dr. Jeanine Roeters van Lennep and Prof. Eric Steegers gave presentations on the importance of a healthy start in life, gender-aware healthcare, and the impact of social and environmental factors, climate change, and infectious diseases on health. The seminar offered a highly interactive program, focusing on how to accelerate the path from research and innovation to impact the Grand Societal Challenges on health.

While advancements in healthcare and technology allow for more care and cure as well as for a higher life expectancy, Europe is still facing significant challenges in enabling a healthy life for its inhabitants. Environmental factors such as lifestyle, urban living, climate change, and vector-borne diseases pose a continuous threat to the health and well-being of European citizens. 
Long-term thinking
Health during the entire life course is already determined before conception and in the first weeks of pregnancy by the parents' state of health as well as exposure of the unborn child to harmful environmental factors. "Erasmus MC organized this seminar to emphasize the importance of research on the earliest stages of life ", says Greet Vink, Chief RDO at Erasmus MC. "If we want a healthy European population in the future, we need to invest in the beginning of those lives now. The solutions lie in long-term thinking, investing in parents, the unborn child, and living environments."

The seminar was hosted by the Permanent Representation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the European Union in Brussels. Prof. Hans van Leeuwen, Erasmus MC's dean, opened the event together with ambassador Ronald van Roeden, the Netherlands Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU, and Director General for Health and Food Safety at the European Commission, Xavier Prats Monné. After the presentations there was a lively discussion on the role of the European Union in providing a healthy life for all European citizens.

Presentations can be viewed here.

Date published: 30 January 2018.

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