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Events :: Достъп :: Health mediators from Class of 2019 – team-spirited and motivated

Health mediators from Class of 2019 – team-spirited and motivated

CertificatesSofia, April 7, 2019

On April 7, on International Health Day – “Doctor’s Day”, at UMPHAT “Tzaritza Yoanna – ISUL”, the new 29 health mediators from Class of 2019 received their certificates after intensive educational sessions and a successfully passed exam. They were trained by teams from the National Network of Health Mediators (NNHM) and the Bulgarian Family Planning Association (BFPA) as well as from tutors from the Public Health Faculty of the Medical University in Sofia. Guest-lecturers were representatives from UNICEF and the National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings. The training for acquiring the professional qualification of “Health Mediator” is being organized for a seventh consecutive year by the NNHM and the BFPA team takes part in the training as well as in the selection process for mediator candidates since the founding of NNHM itself a while ago.
Certificates were handed out by Prof. Ivailo Turnev, President of the Board of the “Minority Health Problems” Foundation and a member of the NNHM Board, and also by Antoaneta Eftimova, President of the Board of NNHM. The mediators were welcomed warmly by all the memers of the Examination Committee. The new additions to the health mediators this year again were selected after concourses held in the corresponding municipalities. The basic criteria for their selection are – high school diploma, part of the community they will work in and knowledge of the language community speaks; understanding the problems of the community. The municipalities in which in 2019 there will be mediators working for the first time are: Bansko, Boichinovtzi, Brusartzi, Byala, Gulyantzi, Ivailovgrad, Krumovgrad, Polski Trumbesh, Sadovo, Svishtov, Silistra, Stambolovo, Tzenovo, Cherven bryag. Thus the number of municipalities with working health mediators increases to 131.

Karlovo cleanupWithin the framework of the educational program the mediators were introduced to the regulatory base and the healthcare system in Bulgaria, the rights and obligations of the patient, and also received information about important socially significant diseases (treatment, prophylaxis and prevention). Special focus  of the educational sessions were also vaccine-preventable diseases, early child development, prevention and counteracting of trafficking, maternal and child health, sexual and reproductive health, family planning, field work. This year’s group demonstrated good knowledge, strong team spirit and a serious motivation.
In 2019 with a state allocated budget, in Bulgaria there are a total of 245 working health mediators with the 29 new ones. They support different health programs and projects for reduction and prophylaxis of infectious diseases and STIs, reducing the levels of child mortality with a main focus on vulnerable Roma groups. They support the efforts the Regional Health Inspectorates, general practitioners and municipalities in implemented by them healthcare campaigns. Collaboration between health mediators and all health institutions is key in view of the increasing cases of measles in Europe and the registered cases in Bulgaria during the last months. The newly trained mediators were off to a flying start – like Minka Donkova (on the photo) who organized the local Roma community in her home town of Karlovo to clean the neighborhood and the adjacent gully from the litter that had accumulated during the winter. Best of luck!

 

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Bulgaria and North Macedonia together to support and develop the Health Mediators program

Blagoevgrad, October 7-9, 2019

Study visit of health mediators, NGO representatives and state institutions from the Republic of North Macedonia took place in October 7-9 in Blagoevgrad. The Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) with the support of the National Network of Health Mediators (NNHM) hosted the three days visit and gave an opportunity for the representatives of HERA – Health Education and Research Association, health mediators from Skopje and Prilep and the Ministry of Health of our neighbor country to understand in details how in years was institutionalized and functions the system of health mediation in Bulgaria. Field visit to the Roma neighborhood Predel Mahala was included in the programme and the guests could see how the work of health mediators Antoaneta Eftimova and Katya Kirilova is going on everyday basis – with institutions, as well with people who need and receive their support.

 
Romeo and Juliet from Kosharnik district

Montana, September 12, 2019

The Shakespeare and Servantes tour around the Roma neighborhoods of Bulgaria went to the Kosharnik district of Montana. Talented and enthusiastic local children, selected by the Roma actress Natalia Tzekova presented fragments of the drama “Romeo and Juliet” from a newer angle and with adequate health messages. The aim of the social theatre is with the means of art to inform the public in a comprehensible manner about the harm of early marriages and early school drop outs, the benefits of contraception, the importance of prevention of sexually transmitted infections. The messages target young people as well as their parents, some of which joined the scenes to demonstrate their support for what their children are saying. With his monologue about the Roma Don Quixote Valeri Lekov, also part of the production team, explained some of the community specificities. Between the sketches there were “real life” scenes – a woman from the community visits a doctor who explains the benefits of contraception and debunks some “fake news” about contraceptive methods – all this with a lot of humour and highly appreciated by the audience.

 
BFPA kicks off a new two-year project “I Want to Know”

Sofia, August 23, 2019

With an official green light on August 23, as of Sep 1st BFPA starts activities on a new project – “I WANT TO KNOW – User friendly access to HIV and STI counseling and testing for Roma youth from vulnerable communities”, supported by ViiV Healthcare’s Positive Action Programme via CAF (Charities Aid Foundation) UK. The project’s duration is 2 years, during which BFPA will provide voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) with a focus on young Roma men (but not excluding women as well) from poor and marginalized districts through its coordinators in the five BFPA branches in Bulgaria - Pleven, Stara Zagora, Plovdiv, Russe and Sofia. Activities will begin with a kick-off meeting and VCT training for the service providers, in parallel with informing and awareness raising by elaboration of info materials, disseminated in the targeted communities by one of the closest and dearest BFPA partners – Health Mediators.

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Events :: Достъп :: Health mediators from Class of 2019 – team-spirited and motivated