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Supporting health know-how and reducing health risks in Karelia
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

One of the world's largest gaps in health and standard of living is between North Karelia and the Republic of Karelia. Chronic illnesses of the working population in Finland have significantly decreased during the last decades. On the other hand, chronic national illnesses and related mortality in the Republic of Karelia have continued to grow. The objective of the project was to develop neighbourhood cooperation in health issues and health know-how in the border region.

Main activities

• to increase cross-border commuting, tourism and other interaction • to carry out research studies related to health issues • to develop health indicators based on knowledge


The project carried out four research studies: 1) research related to risk factors of chronic illnesses according to a mutual protocol in North Karelia and Pitkäranta in 2002 and in Aunus in 2003, 2) health behaviour survey in adult population (AVTK) in 2004, 3) students' asthma and allergy research in 2003 and 4) a health survey on school children in 2004 in Pitkäranta. The research provided high-quality scientific information that supported the planning of health policies, the assessment of performed work and the comparison of matters between the countries. No other similar research has been carried out anywhere in Russia. In relation to educational work, the project organised the Medical Science Days in Karelia in 2002 and 2004, and seminars in care work in 2003 and 2004. The project was also involved in organising various education events related to health and well-being with other neighbourhood operators in Petrozavodsk, Joensuu and Sortavala. The project trained a local research group in Pitkäranta and Aunus to assist in the field work of the researches. The project organised education events in well-being for health care workers on both sides of the border. The health specialists of the Republic of Karelia were also offered an opportunity to attend the international visitors' weeks of the CINDI Winter School and North Karelia. The essential actions in the activities related to health improvement were interventions to reduce smoking and improve the treatment of blood pressure disorders as risk factors in chronic illnesses and broad training programmes related to the interventions. Health knowledge of the population was also improved in Pitkäranta by health fairs that were organised three times. The results of the project were presented at the health fair of Joensuu in 2003 and 2004. The most important results related to the improvement of health were: 1) intensifying the cooperation of the operator network in promoting good health directed at the nearby areas in Finland and the Republic of Karelia, 2) development of know-how in health improvement in Pitkäranta and ja 3) using the experiences of Pitkäranta elsewhere in the Republic of Karelia. As the result of the development work in the area of Pitkäranta, it was designated as a pilot/demonstration area in the Terveet elämäntavat (Healthy Lifestyles) development programme, initiated by the central administration of the Republic of Karelia. The results of the project can be utilised on both sides of the border in the planning of actions related to health policies.

Basic information


Supporting health know-how and reducing health risks in Karelia


2001-10-01 - 2005-03-31

Total Budget / Programme funding

217 945 € / 206 921 €

Lead partner

The North Karelia Project Association
Lead partner web-site


The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Karelia, the Hospital of Pitkäranta