WHO events being staged in district

A community luncheon for delegates attending the World Health Organization’s conference will be hosted by Emo, La Vallee, and Chapple next Wednesday (May 8) at noon at the Emo-La Vallee Community Centre.
Tickets cost $8 each, and are available at the Emo, La Vallee, and Chapple municipal offices until this Friday (May 3). Tickets will be available in advance only.
People from more than 30 countries are expected to attend the luncheon. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Leif Svenstrom, a professor of social medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden and chairman of the Department of International Health and Social Medicine.
His topic will be “Safe Communities in the 21st century—a grassroots movement or an illusion?”
Dr. Svenstrom is involved in the WHO’s Global Programme on Injury Control, and is the head of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Community Safety Promotion at the Karolinska Institute.
He has spent more than 25 years in social medicine, and health and safety promotion. His principal line of research and teaching is injury epidemiology and prevention.
He chaired the first World Conference of Accident and Injury Prevention in Stockholm in 1989 and was a member of the international organization committee for the second and third ones.
The Safe Community movement, which began in Sweden in the 1980s, is based on community-based injury prevention.
The movement recognizes that it’s the people who live, learn, work, and play in a community who best understand their community’s specific problems, needs, assets, and capacities.
Communities that meet a set of 12 criteria set out by the WHO Collaborating Centre on Community Safety Promotion in Sweden may apply to be designated as an official member of the WHO International Safe Community Network.
To date, 54 communities around the world have been approved as members of the network, ranging in population from 1,000 to nearly two million.
Rainy River District already has been designated a Canadian “safe community.” At next week’s conference, the district will become an international one.
In related news, the west end of the district also will host tours in conjunction with the WHO conference. Agricultural tours will take place on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with a tour of the west end taking place all day Wednesday.
Historical tours will take place on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with visits scheduled to Fort St. Pierre at Pither’s Point Park in Fort Frances and the Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung Historical Centre west of Barwick.