Longevity, the northern way
Federal Centre for Arctic Medicine will help increase life expectancy in the Arctic6 june 2022
06.06.2022 // The Conference on Saving Human Health, held on 1-3 June in Arkhangelsk, was one of the main events under Russia's chairmanship in the Arctic Council. It presented the concept of the Federal Centre for Arctic Medicine, which is scheduled to open in 2023. Its main task is to increase the life expectancy of the population of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation.
The initiative to create the FCAM belongs to the governor of Arkhangelsk Region, Alexander Tsybulsky. The idea was supported by Alexey Chekunkov, Russian Minister for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, as well as by Alexander Sergeyev, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences. They signed an agreement on the subject in December 2021 at the XI International Forum "Arctic: the Present and the Future".
"The Centre for Arctic Medicine will focus on science, research, and practical medical work," Alexey Chekunkov said at the forum. "Its healthcare activities must be effective and appropriate to the climatic and geographical features characteristic of the Arctic".
Alexander Tsybulsky is convinced that FCAM will help solve two problems at once. Firstly, it will provide quality medical care to residents of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation. Secondly, it will find ways to counteract the negative factors that cause premature aging in high latitudes. All this will help increase the life expectancy of northerners.
"Our aim is to determine the specifics and influence that climate and nature have on people in the North and in the Arctic zone, to systematise the data obtained, and to develop scientific approaches to preventive and targeted medicine," says Alexander Tsibulsky.
The conference in Arkhangelsk featured a presentation of the concept that will make it possible to achieve these goals. It involves the creation of essential infrastructure: an innovative research complex, a simulation centre, a base for telemedicine technology, and campuses and dormitories for students.
Rector of the Northern State Medical University (NSMU) Lyubov Gorbatova noted that special attention should be paid to training qualified professionals specifically for working in Arctic regions.
"Medical professional education for the Arctic territories requires special approaches, because many diseases progress in the inhabitants of the North in a very unique way. The Arctic aspect is already represented in 91 areas of training available at the university," said Lyubov Gorbatova.
Conference participants expressed confidence that the creation of the FCAM will enable the development of a new healthcare model, which will take into account the specifics of life and work in the Arctic. This model could then be extended to all of the northern territories.