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VIII National Meeting “Initiative for Health and Vaccination”
19.10.2014 ZdravenMediator.net

   On 17th and 18th October 2014 the National Meeting “Initiative for Health and Vaccination” was held in Sofia. Within the initiative reprsentatives of government institutions, non-governmental organisations and private sector discussed the improvement of access to health care services for vulnerable communities. The project is implemented by the National Council for Cooperation on Ethnic and Integration Issues at the Council of Ministers (NCCEII) together with the Ministry of Health. Project partners include Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministy of Finance, Association “National Network of Health Mediators”, National Association of General Practitioners in Bulgaria, Bulgarian Association forVaccine prophylaxis, patient organisations. The event is supported by GlaxoSmithKline.

   The Meeting was opened in Granite hall of Council of Ministers by prof. Yordan Hristoskov (Deputy Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Minister of Labour and Social Policy and Chairman of the National Council for Cooperation on Ethnic and Integration Issues), followed by Dr. Todorova (Ministry of Health); Dr. Todorovska (Deputy General Director, Bulgarian Red Cross); prof. Kantardjiev (Director of National Centre of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases); Dr. Kolpakova (World HealthOrganisation).

   At the Meeting were presented successful projects implemented in partnership with the National Network of Health Mediators:

   Maria Samuilova (representative ofthe International Organisation for Migration), presented the participation of Health mediators in EquiHealth project and the short movie Profession “Health Mediator”, which was filmed in Predel mahala (Blagoevgrad) and Kovachevo village, Bulgaria. The project gathered coordinators of mediation programmes and (Health) mediators from Belgium, France, Spain, Slovakia, Bulgaria with the common goal to estabilish European network of Health mediators. 

   Dr. Irina Dinka (representative of theEuropean Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) presented joint work with NNHM and the results of the project “Let’s Talk About Protection”, implemented by ECDC, National Network of Health Mediators and National Centre of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases. Bulgaria, represented of National Network of Health Mediators, was assessed as a preferred partner in future pilot initiatives of ECDC, and Bulgarian Health-mediation programme - as a unique successful example for working among the most excluded and marginalized vulnerable communities.

   Prof. Ivaylo Tournev (Chairman of Ethnic Minorities Health Problems Foundation and member of NCCEII) presented the results for 2014 of the three-year project “Together for Better Health” implemented by National Network of Health Mediators in Bulgaria and other three non-governmental organisations in Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. Prof. Tournev shared that there is a opportunity for project continuation, after the positive assessment of the work so far.

   Katya Kirilova and Antoaneta Eftimova (Health mediators from Blagoevgrad) shared experience from their work on the field. Velcho Mihalev (HM from Aytos) shared his first-person story of the voluntary missions of HM in Asparuhovo quarter (Varna), Mizia and Dobrich after the floods in the summer of 2014.

  Tsveta Petkova (representative of Ethnic Minorities Health Problems Foundation) presented pilot project within the Programme for Support of NGOs in Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. Within the project new practices for work of Health mediators will be tested in hospitals, emergency departments and Regional Health Inspectorates.

   Traditionally, in the second part of the initiative joint trainings forrepresentatives of Regional Health Inspectorates and Health mediators were held. Some of the topics were:prophylaxys of rotavirus infections; cervical cancer;hepatitis and significant diseases in children - COPD and asthma. The participants in the training hadthe opportunity to learn details for Ebola disease by Dr. Irina Dinka. She presented the latest information about the spread of the disease, prevention and treatment. The presentation was followed by a lively discussion. 


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