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The Ministry of Health is the leading national regulatory authority in the health sector. The health sector including public health, health care and pharmacy areas. Furthermore, the institutions subordinated to the Ministry of Health, for example, the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the State Sports Medicine Centre, Riga Stradins University and others, implement the state policy in their fields of competence, which is applicable also to the matters focusing on health of young people.
Sport includes all types of individual or organised activities for preservation and improvement of physical and mental health, as well as achievements in sport competitions. The purpose of the state sports policy is to form healthy, physically and mentally developed personalities. The Sports Law sets out general and legal basis for sports organisation and development in Latvia. The Ministry of Education and Science is the national regulatory authority in charge of the sports sector.
The main policy directions are:
Children and youth sports;
Sports for all;
High achievements sports;
The Ministry of Health is operating according to the defined core values and principles and in order to improve health policies, community participation is implemented in cooperation with other ministries, non-governmental organisations (for example, the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments, the Latvian Medical Association, youth of the Latvian Red Cross, the Latvian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association “Fern Flower” (Papardes zieds), and other), different institutions and community groups, organising public consultation. Interinstitutional work groups and advisory councils have been created and are operating, whose work also affects health matters of young people, for example:
Food Council, the purpose of which is to promote the implementation of food policies, analysing public health problems related to food and submitting proposals for the resolution of these problems.
Mother and Child Advisory Council, which is an advisory and a coordinating institution, the purpose of activity of which is to involve non-governmental organisations in shaping and implementation of the health policy and in matters mother’s and child’s health, which includes health care of pregnant women, women in labour and newborns, as well as sexual and reproductive health.
National Alcoholism Reduction Council, the purpose of which is to reduce alcohol consumption and its consequences, including for young people.
The purpose of Strategic Council for Health Care is to participate in shaping and implementation of the health policy and to foster information exchange between the Ministry of Health, partnerships of the health sector, state and local government institutions.
The purpose of the Smoking Restriction State Commission is to enforce the rights of people to clean air, free from tobacco smoke.
The commission for coordination of the National Healthy Municipalities Network (hereinafter referred to as NHMC), which strengthens public health within the framework of the NHMC programme at local level, emphasising equality in health matters, solidarity and the need for actions aimed at the prevention of factors having unfavourable effects on health, including on young people.
The Council of the National Health Promoting Schools Network (hereinafter referred to as the NHPSN), where the purpose of the programme is to unite schools, which see a health promoting school environment as one of the purposes of school operation, providing them with the possibility to share experiences and get new ideas about health promotion practices at schools, to support schools in the implementation of activities promoting health and, integrating health promoting activities in school’s daily work and learning process, to promote health of pupils and school staff.