A delegation from China has said they can learn important lessons from Croydon’s plans to improve the health and wellbeing of its local population.
The visitors, who are members of the China Primary Healthcare Foundation, stopped in Croydon this week during their European tour.
They were impressed by the council’s efforts to stamp out smoking, reduce air and noise pollution and tackle the health inequalities that can be caused by unemployment, inadequate housing, poor diet and a lack of exercise.
The group, who met with Councillor Jane Avis, Croydon Council’s lead for families, health and social care, and Rachel Flowers, Croydon’s Director of Public Health, also heard about Croydon’s focus on developing healthier streets by creating more accessible, car-free areas for people to enjoy.
The council’s pollution team also attended the meeting to inform the delegation about local actions underway to improve air quality and reduce excessive noise.
This includes greener infrastructure around the borough, particularly at schools, the Clean Air 4 Schools project, encouraging drivers to switch off their engines when cars are idle and limiting noise and pollution from construction sites.
“It was a privilege to meet with our Chinese guests and to have this opportunity to share the work being done in Croydon to support residents to live longer, happier and healthier lives. Health concerns arising from poor air quality, smoking and sedentary lifestyles are important public health issues because they contribute towards shortening life expectancy, and often disproportionately impact on the most vulnerable groups. We look forward to a continued dialogue with those who have made this special trip to our borough.”
Councillor Jane Avis, cabinet member for families, health and social care
The Head of the China Primary Healthcare Foundation said: “Our visit to Croydon was extremely interesting. It was good to hear about all the things they are doing to look after the health and wellbeing of the local people. We have learned a lot that we can take back to China to help our own plans for improving population health. We would like to thank Croydon Council for taking the time to meet with us.”