All spectra article in the last 12 years in chronological order


A vaccination protects those close to you

Protection with vaccination. To have yourself vaccinated against an infectious disease not only protects you – it also protects those close to you, and helps to protect the whole population. more


"The relatives have a right to be heard."

Interview with Sibylle Glauser. Ms Glauser is President of the Psychiatry Network for Relatives (PNR), the psychologist in charge of the service for counselling relatives at University Psychiatric Services in Berne (UPD AG), and she is a member of the care team of the Canton of Berne, which provides emergency psychological support. Sibylle Glauser talked with spectra about working with relatives in psychiatry and is affected herself – her brother has suffered from schizophrenia for many years. We learned that information from discussions with relatives is important both for the patient and for the relatives, who feel appreciated and relieved as a result. more


Information for migrants, their relatives and other interested persons and institutions

Information. In Switzerland, numerous publications address migrants to inform them on health issues in their mother tongue. Owing to the various language and structural barriers they face, access to preventive medicine and healthcare is difficult for many of them. The internet site is an important source for health guides translated in various languages of the migrant population. more


Information platform sheds light on female genital cutting

Female genital cutting. In Switzerland, around 14,700 women and girls are affected by or threatened with female genital cutting (FGM/C). For the first time, a nationwide Swiss platform is providing key information for those affected and also for professionals, thereby helping to prevent this practice. The Federal Office of Public Health FOPH is supporting this important matter since 2003. more


A healthy lifestyle pays off

Leading article. Health is our greatest asset. We become particularly aware of that fact when we are sick. Ensuring good health is a lifelong task, because good health isn't just a matter of fate.It depends to a large extent on our own behaviour and on health-promoting framework conditions. This is precisely the approach taken by the National Prevention Programmes on the risk factors alcohol, tobacco, nutrition and physical activity as well as the Package of Drug-Related Measures. The overriding objective of the past eight years' work was to maintain or improve individual quality of life. We have come a bit closer to achieving this objective so that we can now say that we are on the right track. more


At first-hand

Editorial. When the Prevention Act of 2012 failed in the Council of States, it was not the Act itself that was defeated. At that stage, no one doubted that prevention works. In fact, it failed because of the discussion about the spending freeze, which was somewhat ironic. more


Many goals achieved – mixed outcomes at the political level

Interview with Andreas Balthasar. Andreas Balthasar assesses the alcohol, tobacco, and diet and exercise programmes as well as the package of drug measures after their first period. We asked him about his overall view of the programmes, where he thinks they have been particularly successful, what must be taken into account when establishing the objectives of an evaluation, and what he sees as the challenges for future prevention programmes. more


Important decisions have been made for tobacco prevention

National Tobacco Programme (NTP 2008–2016). "Smoking-related cases of death and disease in Switzerland have been reduced." With this mission, the Federal Council adopted the NTP 2008–2016 in 2008 and commissioned the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) with its implementation. How have tobacco use and prevention developed since then? A review. more


Looking back at eight years of the National Alcohol Programme

National Alcohol Programme NPA 2008–2016. Alcohol is a part of our culture – a glass of red wine with dinner, a little champagne as a toast, or a beer in the evening. However, alcohol is not a normal consumer product and one needs to learn how to deal with it. Although most people know how to drink responsibly, about one in five people drink too much, too often or at the wrong time. About 50% of all alcohol is drunk by 11 percent of the population. Excessive alcohol consumption is one of the major risk factors for chronic diseases. It has harmful consequences for society and increases the rate of traffic accidents. The annual costs for the Swiss population are about CHF 4.2 billion*. In order to address this problem, the National Alcohol Programme (NPA) was established in 2008, with the slogan: "If you drink alcoholic beverages, you do so without harming yourself or others." more


The Swiss drug policy – a pioneer model

Packages of drug measures. Switzerland's four-pillar drug policy is still a commendable example for many countries in their approach to drug problems. These are some of the impressive achievements over the last twenty years: open drug scenes have disappeared, while drug-related deaths, the HIV infection rate and drug-related crime have all decreased and public safety has improved. The drug problem has not been solved, but Switzerland has found a pragmatic, healthoriented and humane approach to the drug problem. The third package of drug measures expired at the end of 2016. As part of the National Addiction Strategy, which includes all types of addiction, the four-pillar drug policy will be developed further into the four-pillar addiction policy. more