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Chief Medical Officer's annual report

Northern Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Michael McBride, highlights some of the biggest public health issues facing Northern Ireland in his annual report. Some of the main topics in the report include smoking, breastfeeding, cancer screening and new vaccinations.

Download the report

You can download the full report at the link below:

nidirect has lots of helpful information on many of the issues covered in the report.


Dr McBride says it is important to prevent children and young people from taking up smoking.


The report highlights the benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby.

Cancer screening

The bowel cancer screening programme has been extended to include men and women aged between 60 and 74. The CMO says completing the bowel cancer screening test could save your life.

Surveillance screening has been introduced for women who are known to be at high risk of developing breast cancer.

Dr McBride also encourages women to be breast aware.

Preventing suicide

The report highlights that five times as many people die by suicide in Northern Ireland each year than are killed through road traffic accidents. If you are in crisis or despair, you should ask for help.

New vaccinations

Dr McBride says the whooping cough vaccination for pregnant women has saved lives and prevented babies suffering.

The new shingles vaccination will reduce the number of cases of shingles and the severity of symptoms.

The flu vaccination programme has been extended to include some children.

Blind cord safety

Dr McBride says there are a range of safety devices available to help make window blind cords safer.

Air pollution alert text service

During periods of high air pollution, the symptoms of people who suffer from a chronic illness -such as asthma or heart disease – may get worse. You can sign up to get air pollution alerts sent to your mobile phone.

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