On 26 April, a presentation on the successfully completed Lithuanian partnership project supported by Norway, which focused on developing and fostering the values of partnership, was given at the Public Health Office of the Akmenė District Municipality. The project, entitled „Improving the provision of healthcare services in schools and pre-school establishments in the districts of Telšiai and Akmenė“, was implemented over the course of a year. Both in the district of Telšiai and Akmenė, the greater part of the planned project activities were completed. According to the project executives, the only thing left to do is to unpack the devices as well as equipment and get to work.
The promotional event for „Improving the provision of healthcare services in schools and pre-school establishments in the districts of Telšiai and Akmenė“ was attended by a group of participants from various educational establishments. Among the attendees were mayor V. Mitrofanovas, head of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports, V. Juozapavičius, headmaster of Akmenė Gymnasium, N. Žalys and representatives of other institutions as well as specialists in the field of children’s healthcare and wellness. I. Griciuvienė, Head of the Public Health Office of Akmenė District Municipality, presented the projected and introduced listeners to the various aspects of partnership.
Our specialists were offered the opportunity of becoming project partners by Aurelijus Laurinavičius, the project’s chief executive and the head of the Public Health Office of Telšiai District Municipality. He introduced us to the great opportunity of receiving funding from Norway through the idea of partnership. Mr. Laurinavičius told us about the many great achievements the project funds had produced and provided photo-evidence to support his cause, citing examples such as renovated public health offices in schools and pre-school establishments. Tens of different tasks were completed: flooring was replaced, walls were painted, new lighting fixtures installed and many new pieces of furniture purchased and assembled. This was a great incentive to work with a new approach: up-to-date and necessary devices and equipment were purchased, for example, scales for measuring body fat, training dummies and blood pressure monitors. The total value of the project amounted to over 243 thousand euros. As many as 22 offices were renovated in the district of Telšiai and 11 in Akmenė. The Norwegian-funded project covers 22 of the country’s municipalities. „We wanted to partner with our neighbours, and we have close ties with Akmenė, so we invited them to work together. I’m delighted with how considerate everyone has been and our smooth cooperation. As neighbours, both sides are happy with the final result,“ explained Mr. Laurinavičius. Offices in the very worst condition were selected for renovation both in the district of Telšiai and of Akmenė, but today they are spotlessly clean and modern. The project will continue to be implemented over a 5-year period. In addition to the useful equipment purchased, computer hardware and software were also acquired, allowing specialists to demonstrate video material with modern equipment.
- Matulevičienė, healthcare specialist for children and young adults at the Public Health Office of Telšiai District Municipality, spoke of how attitudes are changing towards healthcare in pre-school, general education and vocational establishments, and what innovation and changes have been brought about by the renewal of the material base and the renovation of health offices.
A total of 70.5 thousand euros in project funds were allocated for renovation and purchases of equipment, of which 22 thousand euros were spent on furniture, and 1.4 thousand euros were spent on computer equipment. A total of 35.2 thousand euros were allocated for purchasing various types of equipment (73 types) and software. Gitana Ribinskienė, healthcare specialist for children and young adults at the Public Health Office of Akmenė District Municipality, presented the results of the project. Healthcare priorities and strategic directions in the district were presented by public health improvement specialist Justina Kazickaitė of the Public Health Office of Akmenė District Municipality. District mayor V. Mitrofanovas also shared his positive thoughts about the closure of this mutually successful project, highlighting the fact that our children know a lot more about healthy living than their parents do. Public specialists still have a lot of work to do in helping parents understand the importance of healthy habits in raising the next generations.
Each family cares about their children’s well-being and health, but sometimes due to lack of funds or obsolete equipment it is not possible for pre-schools and schools to provide comprehensive health care services. At present the real situation, in educational institutions of Telšiai and Akmenė districts, is talking about the fact that it is necessary to significantly improve the existing infrastructure needed for health care services.
Till the start of the Project there was a lack of equipment, it was outdated and worn out. Therefore, some health care centers needed to be repaired to fully ensure health care in schools and kindergarten of Telšiai and Akmenė districts.
The situation has improved significantly when the Project „Health care service improvement in schools and pre-school educational institutions of Telšiai and Akmenė districts“ started. Contract works are curently taking place in Telšiai: Some of the items are bought already and the purchase for the others is announced. Also the contract for buying furniture is already signed and the furniture is being made.
The situation in Naujoji Akmenė is very similar – the contract is signed so the work is expected to start in early January of 2016. The purchase of furniture, health risk assessment and environmental assessment tools is already announced.
The students and educators of Telšiai can already enjoy the significant change in the new infrastructure in educational institutions. Classrooms of Telšiai district Varnių Motiejaus Valančiaus gymnasium and Public Institution Regional Professional education center of Telšiai are finished. The work in gymnasium of Luokė is about to be done.
On 14-19 of December the work started also in kindergarten of Telšiai „Žemaitukas“, main school of Telšiai „Krantas“, gymnasium of Telšiai „Žemaitė“, kindergarten of Telšiai „Nykštukas“, gymnasium of Vincentas Borisevičius in Telšiai. The work should be done this year. Public procurement is still going in Naujoji Akmenė.
Nevertheless repairs in all educational institutions are not complete, it is expected to finish them under a pre-arranged schedule of activities. It is scheduled to deliver the furniture in early January of 2016 in Telšiai district. The time of furniture delyvery in Naujoji Akmenė is not clear yet because of ongoing furniture buying procedure.
The start of January will be joyfull in schools of Telšiai and Naujoji Akmenė disctricts – new infrastructure and the successful completion of the Project will lead to new challenges.
The presentation of the “Improvements of the provision of health care services in schools and pre-school educational institutions in the districts of Telšiai and Akmenė“ project took place on September, 30th in Telšiai. The heads of schools and pre-school educational establishments, health care professionals of the district of Telšiai and the representatives of the Public Health Office of the district of Akmenė were invited to the publicity event. The head of the Public Health Office of the district of Telšiai, Aurelius Laurinavičius, presented the project and the planned activities.
The Republic of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Norway have signed the memorandum of agreement for the implementation of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism in the years 2009-2014 on the 5th of April, 2011. During this period, Lithuania will receive 45.6 million Euros. The implementation of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism program “Public health initiatives” Nr. LT11 aims at facilitating building up the children’s and young people’s health care monitoring and enforcement, and strengthening the health professionals’ capacity of reducing social inequalities in health on the national and municipal levels.
This project is an opportunity to newly provide health care offices with furniture, equipment and tools for the community of the educational institutions and thus improve the quality of services in public health and reduce health disparities.
The aims of the Project aims and planned activities
The common project of the Public Health Offices of the districts of Telšiai and Akmenė was prepared for the implementation of the “Improvements of the provision of health care services in schools and pre-school educational institutions” tool of the “Public health initiatives” program Nr. LT11. Its aim is to install or update the health care offices in schools and pre-school educational institutions. The project will cover the health care offices that require elementary cosmetic repairs of ceiling, floor, and walls. The inventory there is out-dated, worn out or does not meet the requirements of furniture or inventory that must be used in the modern health care professional’s office. Such equipment simply does not exist or it has not been bought due to the lack of resources.
The project will fund the necessary repairs of the health care offices, and the purchases of furniture and equipment that is necessary to carry out the health care functions. It will also fund the methodic and working tools, helping to monitor children’s health.
Funds received by the Project
The overall amount of funds meant for the projects by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism is 243,224.10 Euros, 15 percent of which is meant for the construction, reconstruction, repair and other works. Project funds will cover the costs of desks, filing cabinets, chairs, wardrobes and tools’ cabinets, chairs or benches for children to sit on and other furniture. Computer hardware acquisition will be covered by 4,894.58 Euros; it will include 27 printers and 5 scanners or multifunction copiers and 1 tablet. The list of tools for the assessment of health risks environmental factors was drawn up in accordance with the needs of the two regions, and their acquisition will be covered by 114,114.63 Euros; 78,862.08 Euros are meant for the district Telšiai (65 tools are planned to purchase) and 35,252.55 Euros – for the district of Akmenė (73 tools are planned to purchase). The aging process simulation equipment, educational computer program “Eat sensibly”, movies, external hard drives, body weight scales, height measuring rulers, blood pressure measuring machines, Internet access devices, speakers, multimedia and screens, and other tools will be bought with this money. In addition to these means, health care offices in schools and pre-school educational institutions need additional aids for healthy lifestyle skills development. These include the tools for promotion of physical activity, healthy eating, injury prevention, hygiene skills development, first aid training, addiction prevention, sexual education and improvement of mental health tools.
Other costs will be incurred during the project, such as salaries to project administration personnel, business trip expenses, the costs of project administration services, project promotion and indirect costs.
The project will upgrade the health care offices in schools and pre-school educational institutions in the districts of Telšiai and Akmenė where they are not fully equipped and operational. The total number of health care offices covered by the project is 11 in pre-school institutions and 22 health care offices in educational institutions (schools, gymnasiums and other educational institutions). The offices that were chosen for the project are in very poor condition, and they require repair works. 15 health care offices will be repaired, and 3 offices will be equipped with only a washing basin.
At the moment the project is completing the procurement procedure. The project is to be implemented by the year 2016, the 3rd of April. If necessary, the deadline will be extended until the end of 2016.
The value of the Project
This project will solve the problem of funding shortages for the renewal of public health care offices in schools and pre-school educational institutions.
Health care offices will be provided with the latest health preservation and strengthening facilities, which will help to improve the quality of public health care. The equipment, bought with the money obtained by this project, will be used for the needs of pupils and pre-school children attending educational institutions, various activities to promote healthy lifestyle and diet will be organized. It will help to ensure quality health care of pupils and kindergarten-aged children. Healthy lifestyle habits inoculated from the childhood remain for a lifetime, therefore it should be taught from pre-school age, explaining to children why and how to take care of their health. Pre-school educational institutions’ health care offices will have visual and suggestive aids for healthy lifestyle promotion.