| The Health Mediators in Blagoevgrad Were Visited by UNFPA Deputy Director |
Field-trip was part of Regional Conference
“Health and rights promotion, decreasing inequalities. The way to better sexual
and reproductive health in Eastern Europe and Central Asia” that took place in
the period 27-29 May in Sofia. The Conference gathered representatives from 19
countries in the region. It was organized by Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Ministry of Health and Regional Office of UNFPA for Eastern and Central Europe.
The aim of the Conference was to present the
development of reproductive health policies, to mobilize support and investment
in this sphere and to exchange experience for achieving sustainable local
policies and trans border cooperation in the region.
Special guests of the Conference were Kate
Gilmore, UNFPA Deputy Director, Heimo Laakkonen - Director of UNFPA's Regional
Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia and the Regional Director
of the European Network of the International Planned Parenthood Federation
(IPPF) – Vicky Claeys. They drawed attention on the necessity for
more efforts in the struggle for equal access to healthcare and also –
increasing the quality of the offered services. The participants noted also
that today we are witnessing one of the largest migration flows in history.
According to them this increases additionally the need to work with different
generations and to guarantee access to information and services in the field of
sexual and reproductive health and rights.
The high-standing guests shared that for them the
most exciting moment from their stay in Bulgaria was the visit organized by
Bulgarian Family Planning Association and the National Network of Health
Mediators in Blagoevgrad. Led by the two skillful health mediators Katia
Kirilova and Antoaneta Eftimova they saw the reality of the Roma neighbourhood
without make-up. But they also saw how health mediators do their field work,
how difficulties could be overcame with relatively low investment and a lot of
dedication; how an approach could be invented to contact each family; how to
work with Roma people in the field of reproductive health, contraception,
staying in school.