She defended her thesis on 15 June at the Nordic School of Public Health.
The consequence of rapid development on Greenland is also that disease patterns are changing rapidly towards the more chronic, life style-influenced diseases found in other Western countries.
– The development in Greenland is taking place very rapidly and some groups of children run a high risk of developing ill-health now or in their future lives, says Birgit Niclasen.
It is therefore even more important to develop a comprehensive system of child health indicators.
In her thesis, Folkesundhed i børnehøjde – indikatorer for børns sundhed og velbefindende i Grønland, Birgit Niclasen prepares the ground for such a system and thereby continues work previously carried out at NHV, in the EU, and for Swedish municipalities. A comprehensive analysis of child health was conducted and indicators pertaining to central areas that influence the health and wellbeing of Greenlandic children were proposed. The indicators were developed with children at the centre and were placed in their social context. Birgit Niclasen proposes indicators at both the national and the municipal level. This enables comparison both with other countries and between regions within Greenland.
– In the future it will be possible to use the indicators in local health profiles and thereby make them the basis for local health intervention and promotion, continues Birgit Niclasen. The indicators could be powerful tools in monitoring core issues in relation to children’s health and the factors that influence it. They are also a necessary starting point for a more comprehensive strategy than the one articulated in the current public health programme.
– A coordinated effort on all levels and sectors in society must be ensured in the future. The indicators can be used as the basis for this task as they are viewed from a public health perspective, are well documented and have been developed from systematically collected data.