Internet-Based Tobacco Control Program In Czech Republic
The World Bank's InfoDev program enabled CECHE and its two Czech partners- the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) and the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH)- to launch an Internet-based communications program aimed at tobacco control in the Czech Republic.
The main goal of the project -- started in June 1999-- was to build indigenous capacity of Czech health professionals and lay volunteers in the use of contemporary information technology to heighten public awareness and catalyze policy change necessary for the creation of a tobacco-free environment in the Czech Republic. A Czech Tobacco-Control Training and Communications Program (TOB-CCP)-a demonstration program-located at IKEM- is continuing to train health professionals from Czech district level District Hygiene Stations (DITs) and other tobacco-control professionals and NGO's in using contemporary information technology for public policy advocacy and tobacco control. The project is spearheaded by CECHE's key Czech partners, Drs Rudolf Poledne of IKEM and Hana Sovonova of NIPH.
Key international partners are UICC-GLOBALink of Geneva, for providing training in Internet and tobacco control communications, and the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Advocacy Institute, both in Washington, D.C. - for training in advocacy and policy reform. The project has led to the creation of an electronic network of Czech health professionals and NGOs and the establishment of a Czech Heart Association (CHA) -- the first grassroots membership organization dedicated to smoking and cardiovascular disease prevention. The CHA is patterned after the American Heart Association, one of the oldest and most successful private voluntary organizations engaged in health promotion and tobacco control in the United States. The experience in the Czech Republic will be considered for wide scale applicability in the CEE-NIS region and elsewhere.
Project Goals and Objectives
Form an Internet-based network comprising health professionals from Czech district level hygiene stations (DITs), heart disease-prevention NGOs other professionals concerned with tobacco-control.
Over the past two years, the Czech partners have recruited over 40 DITs and NGO's to participate as members of the network in the project ). A needs assessment survey early in the project revealed that while all the polled organizations can access the Internet (and three have web pages and several have tobacco-control programs), only one, an NGO, has a media advocacy program. All DITs and NGO's expressed a strong need for skills training in email and Internet use, and some requested equipment and software or dedicated Internet phone lines. And, this was the subject of the first "train the trainers" workshop held in Prague in October 1999. Subsequent workshops, conferences and related activities have focused on media outreach , public policy advocacy, and establishment of the Czech Heart Association. Furthermore, the project led to a series of local, national and international partnerships which facilitated project implementation and enhanced its impact.
|Questions? Comments? Concerns? E-mail CECHE at CECHE@comcast.net
Go back to the CECHE home page