• Meningitis B vaccination programme gets under wayMeningitis B vaccination programme gets under way

    A new vaccine which helps prevent meningitis B is being offered to babies from today [1 September] as part of the routine childhood vaccination programme.

    The vaccine is available to babies born on or after 1 July 2015 and doses are given at two months old, four months old and a booster when the child is one year old.

  • PHA launches public consultation on Lifeline service PHA launches public consultation on Lifeline service

    The Public Health Agency (PHA) is today launching a 12-week public consultation on the future of the Lifeline crisis response service.The current Lifeline service is a free-to-call regional confidential telephone helpline for people who are in emotional crisis and are at risk of self-harm or suicide. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. The current Lifeline service was commissioned in 2012 by the PHA as part of a range of measures to tackle suicide under the Protect Life suicide prevention strategy. The aim of the Lifeline service is to de-escalate callers at risk of self-harm or suicide, provide an immediate response proportionate to the caller’s assessed risk and deliver short-term rapid response community counselling. 

  • Pack a healthy lunch for the best start to school yearPack a healthy lunch for the best start to school year

    As the new school year approaches, parents are being encouraged to think about what they pack in their children’s lunchboxes and to choose a healthier option for the best start to the school year.


    The message from the Public Health Agency (PHA) for those preparing the packed lunch and snack for break is to steer clear of sugary drinks and snacks high in added sugar, fat and salt, and to remember that children only need kid-sized portions.

  • The Public Health Agency (PHA) has issued further advice on e-cigarettes to help people make informed decisions. The Public Health Agency (PHA) has issued further advice on e-cigarettes to help people make informed decisions.

    Smoking tobacco is very harmful to health. The short and long term effects of smoking are well known and smoking remains the single biggest cause of early death in Northern Ireland. A typical smoker dies 10-15 years earlier than they would do if they didn’t smoke.

    E-cigarettes are a type of nicotine replacement product. The latest report from Public Health England suggests they are less harmful to health than smoking, but the short and long-term effects of using e-cigarettes – “vaping” – are not yet known. E-cigarettes contain nicotine as they are mostly designed to help smokers to stop smoking by replacing the nicotine in tobacco-based cigarettes. At this point, for smokers, e-cigarettes appear to be a safer option than smoking, but they are not regulated or licensed. They are therefore not as safe as established nicotine replacement therapies like nicotine patches and gum which are tightly controlled for product quality and safety. In non-smokers, e-cigarettes may create a nicotine addiction. 

  • Exam celebrations – take time to talk to your young peopleExam celebrations – take time to talk to your young people

    With thousands of young people due to receive their exam results, the Public Health Agency (PHA) is encouraging parents to talk to their children about the risks associated with drinking and taking drugs.

    Many teenagers will go out with friends when they get exam results, whether they are celebrating or commiserating. Both scenarios can lead to excessive drinking or drug taking, so there’s an important role for parents to talk to their children about the risks.

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The switchboard number for the PHA’s Headquarters at Linenhall Street, Belfast has changed to 0300 555 0114. Click here for more information.

Welcome

The Public Health Agency (PHA) was established in April 2009 as part of the reforms to Health and Social Care (HSC) in Northern Ireland. We are the major regional organisation for health protection and health and social wellbeing improvement. Our role also commits us to addressing the causes and associated inequalities of preventable ill-health and lack of wellbeing. We are a multi-disciplinary, multi-professional body with a strong regional and local presence.

Directorates

In fulfilling our mandate to protect public health, improve public health and social wellbeing, and reduce inequalities in health and social wellbeing, the PHA works within an operational framework of three areas: Public Health, Nursing and Allied Health Professionals, and Operations. Our corporate and business plans reflect these arrangements and our purpose as an organisation.

Public Health

Nursing and Allied Health Professions

Operations

Latest

Teenage immunisations for ages 14 to 18 (English and translations)

Thursday, 3 September 2015 - Publication

This booklet explains about the routine immunisations that are offered to all young people before they leave school.

Immunisation for pre-school children three years and four months old (English and translations)

Thursday, 3 September 2015 - Publication

This booklet contains the facts about the vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis) and polio, and the MMR booster given to children at the age of three years and four months. 

Immunisation for babies just after their first birthday (English and translations)

Thursday, 3 September 2015 - Publication

This booklet provides the facts about the vaccines babies will receive just after their first birthday: the first MMR vaccine and the PCV and Hib/Men C booster vaccines.

Whooping Cough (Pertussis) immunisation - Leaflet

Thursday, 3 September 2015 - Publication

This leaflet encourages uptake of the whooping cough vaccine for pregnant women. Cases of whooping cough are on the increase – by getting the vaccine while pregnant you can protect your baby