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The SEFAC project has been presented  on the 23rd and 24th of May 2018 in Rijeka, Croatia within the Health City Programme, entitled Rijeka – Healthy City” and the National Programme “Healthy Living“. It has been illustrated in the  module “Volunteers in the Park”.

The organizers were the Teaching Institute of Public Health of the Primorsko-Goranska County and the City of Rijeka in cooperation with the Faculty of Health Studies in Rijeka, the Croatian Medical Chamber and the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Rijeka. The purpose was to empower and involve people of 50 and 50+  who have or are at risk of a chronic disease to take control over their own health including them in the SEFAC activities.

On Wednesday May 23rd a series of presentations were held in the Rijeka City Hall “Rijeka – Healthy City: Active and Healthy lifestyle  in the Third Age” tackling the improvement of citizens’ health.  While at Faculty of Medicine of the University of Rijeka, Professor Vojko Kavčič, an international expert from the Institute of Gerontology ad Wayne State University in Detroit, delivered a lecture focusing on “Effectiveness of cognitive training“. This was the perfect set for inviting the audience to participate in the SEFAC activities and bring the project information closer to potential participants through posters and banners.

On Thursday May 24th, the SEFAC project team MEDRI presented the EU project SEFAC in Mlaka Central Park. They invited citizens and other interested people (age 50+) to inform them about the project activities  inviting  them to enroll. The citizens were asked to answer a questionnaire on risk factors for chronic disease, in order to identify those at risk of developing chronic disease or suffering from one or more. Students from the Faculty of Medicine have measured blood glucose tests, blood pressure and handgrip strength test for interested citizens, while the students from the Faculty of Health Studies organized a gathering and conducted exercises for citizens of all ages.

The SEFAC project team emphasized the importance of encouraging citizen awareness of the significant problem of chronic diseases in Croatia, Europe and the world.  Furthermore, they presented how to practice the art of being present, mindfulness, and how to bring it into our daily routines. Promoting the adoption and maintenance of healthy habits is a major challenge, but starting small and setting realistic goals can teach us how to make healthier choices and, in the process, reduce our risk for chronic diseases.

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