Vulnerable groups

Certain sectors of the population are particularly vulnerable in terms of harm to health, owing either to their physical or emotional constitution (e.g. disability, mental illness, addictive disorder, pregnancy, advanced age, migration background, etc.) or to their socio-economic situation.


At first hand

Editorial Andrea Arz de Falco. The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) has a vested interest in schools because they play an important role in public health. All children in Switzerland have the right to a basic education. During the years that children and adolescents spend at school, they also learn a great deal about their health. In the classroom they are taught the essentials of hygiene and biology, and in the corridors and during the breaks they learn behaviour and skills relating to diet, physical activity and how to deal with stress, conflict and risk situations. This stands them in good stead for the rest of their lives. We also know that a good atmosphere at school has a positive effect on performance in teachers, children and adolescents. more


Physical activity enables learning with all senses

Physically active learning. Schools that integrate physical activity into the school routine in areas other than sport and physical education are very successful: their pupils and teachers are more concentrated and receptive during lessons and enjoy the everyday life of the school. This means that a greater amount of physical activity at school creates a setting that promotes health and supports learning, teaching and a good school climate. more


Government prolongs the Migration and Health programme

Equality of opportunity. By extending the duration of the National Programme on Migration and Health to the end of 2017, the Swiss government (Federal Council) aims to contribute towards improving the health of Switzerland's migrant communities. A publication summarises the status of implementation of the programme and outlines the future aims and measures. more


"Break the chains" to reduce HIV infection

Gay community. Avoid all risk of infection in April and then take an HIV test in May with the partners with whom you usually have unprotected sex: this is the message of the "Break the Chains" campaign, which is being run this spring for the second time. The aim of the campaign is to break the chains of infection among men who have sex with men. more


Efforts to protect the integrity of the female body

Female genital mutilation. Female circumcision or female genital mutilation (FGM) is an issue that also affects women and girls living in Switzerland. The legal situation regarding FGM has recently been clarified. The Federal Office of Public Health has been cooperating for many years with a range of partners to promote prevention and raise awareness of the FGM problem. more


Sex between men – towards better sexual health

New publication: On 1 December the Federal Office of Public Health issued a brochure entitled «Sex unter Männern: Für eine bessere sexuelle Gesundheit 2012» [Sex between men: towards better sexual health 2012]. This brochure reviews the current facts and figures on the HIV epidemic among gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM). It provides the framework of the strategy set out in the «Urgent Action Plan 2012». more


«Health Guide to Switzerland»: new edition of success story

Migration and health. The «Health Guide to Switzerland» publication helps migrants understand how to use the Swiss healthcare system. The third revised edition of the popular booklet has just been published. The website of the migesplus centre of excellence for migration-related information has also been relaunched. more


«Checkpoints» to become gay health centres

Queer health. Not only is HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) prevalence higher in average among gay men than in the general population, but their general health is much poorer too. To counterbalance this trend, five health centres designed to respond specifically to gay men’s needs are to be set up in Switzerland. more


New platform for promoting a diversity approach in addiction

Infodrog, the Swiss Office for the Coordination of Addiction Facilities, offers a new national platform for addiction professionals to exchange experience and knowledge of «diversity in addiction work». This is an approach that takes account not only of migration and gender, but of all aspects of the complex of problems related to addiction. more


The starting point for early identification and early intervention in young people is society

Publications. A new booklet produced in the French-speaking part of Switzerland presents a model for addressing early identification and early intervention in young people at risk. It contains recommendations and examples of good practice derived from a range of settings. more