Public Advice (PA) International Foundation has a long-established active role in developing new approaches to trans-cultural and trans-boundary problems, in particular in health promotion and protection. It was in this context that PA International Foundation Board Member Dr. Werner Christie, former Minister for Health in Norway, and his fellow Board Members recognised a “prevention opportunity” on the subject of Vitamin D deficiency and the potential health benefits of increased Vitamin D intake for a range of chronic health conditions. Following intensive and in-depth consultation, PA International Foundation set out to work alongside other stakeholders to address the societal case for Vitamin D.
The first major step in this process was the convening, in collaboration with the Vitamin D Workshop and the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME), by PA International of a seminar entitled “Vitamin D Deficiency: The Need for Prevention and Communication” at the 2009 Vitamin D Workshop in Bruges. This highly successful event brought together key actors such as doctors, scientists, patients and representatives of politics, industry and the media for concrete dialogue on the issue of Vitamin D deficiency.
The seminar was followed by the CPME’s adoption of a policy paper on Vitamin D. Momentum in the campaign to raise awareness of the problem of widespread Vitamin D deficiency in Europe was maintained through the conference jointly held in the European Parliament by PA International Foundation, the CPME and the Vitamin D Workshop, entitled “Vitamin D Nutritional Policy in Europe: The Need for Prevention, Education and Consumer Choice”.
Under the patronage of Member of Parliament (MEP) János Áder, the conference in March 2010 brought together a distinguished panel of experts, doctors, politicians and patients’ representatives. All the contributors agreed at the event on a strong call for action towards policy makers to bring the topic higher on the agenda. Full coverage of the conference is available here and in a special publication of The Parliament Magazine.
Throughout all of these activities, the PA International Foundation has sought to engage and work with organisations that are seeking to highlight the problem of Vitamin D deficiency and to promote Vitamin D as an important public health issue. These stakeholders include:
Shine on Scotland is a campaign started by 15 year old Ryan McLaughlin to fight the effects of the chronic disease Multiple Sclerosis through the promotion of increased intake of Vitamin D for everyone.
The Irish Osteoporosis Society is a charity dedicated to reducing the incidence of Osteoporosis and promoting bone health
The Dutch Fall Prevention Network (KNVS
) is a national platform for relevant stakeholders in the area of fall prevention for seniors to share practical experience and scientific knowledge.
The German Osteoporosis Patient Society (BfO) was founded in 1987 by patients and doctors, and has expanded across Germany to include around 300 groups and 11 associations, with a total of around 17.000 members.
The Health Research Forum is a forum which intends to encourage the development of a health policy based on scientific evidence, and it intends to make this sound health policy as widely known as possible.
Into 2011, the PA International Foundation will continue to work together with its network on a range of new initiatives, in particular focusing on the exchange of information on current activities of the relevant stakeholders and further profiling Vitamin D as a public health priority for numerous health sectors.
This website, a dedicated blog, and the monthly Vitamin D Newsletter are solely based on the contributions of the stakeholders in the vitamin D community and any information, feedback and contributions on your activities.