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October 20, 2017

Montevideo Gets Serious about Salt

On Wednesday, October 18th, the city of Montevideo, Uruguay announced its initiative under the Partnership for Healthy Cities, a campaign to fight hypertension and cardiovascular disease by helping residents of the city cut back on salt. Vital Strategies is the Partnership’s implementing partner.

Mayor Daniel Martínez made the announcement and called his city’s participation in the Partnership “a way of reaffirming our ethical commitment to working for people’s wellbeing.”

Vital Strategies President and CEO José Luis Castro applauded Montevideo’s decision to target salt. It’s the only one of the more than 50 cities in the Partnership to do so. “Montevideo is showing great leadership by getting serious about hypertension and heart disease and being willing to reach out to students, restaurants and the general public with powerful information,” said Castro.

José Luis Castro, President and CEO of Vital Strategies, spoke at the Montevideo announcement with Kelly Henning, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Director of Public Health Programs; Daniel Martínez, Intendente (Mayor) of Montevideo; and Analice Berón, Montevideo Health Director and technical lead for the Partnership for Healthy Cities.

He was joined Wednesday by Analice Berón, Montevideo’s Health Director and the technical lead on the city’s Partnership for Healthy Cities initiative, and Kelly Henning, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Director of Public Health Programs.

The city’s initiative includes a plan to enforce current salt-reduction policies and introduce new ones. Among these are a media campaign to warn people about the dangers of salt and trainings for restaurant and school lunchroom staffs to prepare low-sodium food and make low-sodium condiments available.

As part of the announcement event, Henning received the city’s Illustrious Visitor medal. The prize is awarded to “those who have made a significant contribution to the city of Montevideo.”

The Partnership was created by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg after his appointment last year by the World Health Organization to serve as Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases.

It’s a prestigious network of forward-thinking mayors who will be demonstrating through their initiatives that local action is the key to securing the health and wellbeing of the world’s citizens.

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