After the collapse of the Soviet Union, local health authorities in the Republic of Karelia asked for collaboration and assistance from Finland. Having become aware of the work and success of the North Karelia Project on the Finnish side, they sought to set up similar activities to improve public health in a region carrying a heavy disease burden. The District of Pitkäranta was chosen as a demonstration area for the entire Republic.
The epidemiological situation in Pitkäranta and the results and experiences of the preventive work, based on risk-factor monitoring and other data, has since been reported in numerous scientific articles. This report tells something of the story of the Pitkäranta Project, giving an overall description of the background, developments, activities and main results. The experience gained and lessons learned from the cross-border collaboration are also discussed for the benefit of other similar efforts.
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