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.
A. 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.