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We recently received an update on the Circle of Health in Serbia from our colleague, Svetlana Jankovic.

The Circle of Health was introduced in Serbia during a Summer School organized in 2009 by the Public Health Association of Serbia, Public Health Association of Canada and The Quaich Inc. (Canadian distributors of the Circle of Health). During the Summer school participants gained knowledge about idea development, purpose and content of the Circle of Health. The Background Documents, Learning Guide and the model of the Circle of Health were delivered to all participants.

After the training, participants had various opportunities to use the Circle of Health in their daily practice. Most of them used the model as a learning tool for public health staff in health and other institutions and organizations, but also in universities for students of medicine. Staff from the Social Medicine Department at the School of Medicine University of Belgrade used the Circle of Health during lecturings to improve knowledge and skills of students about health promotion. The Circle of Health was also used in the IPH Belgrade during educational sessions with staff from health care institutions.

The Circle of Health was used for planning and making health promotion local action plans as well as for improvement of partnership between different institutions and organizations. Staff from one primary health care center in Belgrade found that it was very useful tool for preparing and organizing public health promotion events in local community as it helped to identify roles and responsibilities of all actors. It helped with better understanding of health promotion concepts and the roles of various actors in community health.

The Circle of Health was also used in the process of advocating for important public health issues in order to improve level of awareness about joint actions and mutual resources. Branches of the PHAS in Valjevo and Uzice used it to implement activities within the Calendar of Health (eg. National and World Non Tobacco Day, World Health Day, World Food Day) in an efficient and effective way. It enhanced their efforts to gather partners from governmental and non governmental sectors to improve the health and well being of inhabitants in local community.

We look forward to seeing further implementation of the Circle of Health into programs and practices in Serbia!