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Events :: Достъп :: Start of the Academic year of Health Mediators 2020

Start of the Academic year of Health Mediators 2020

ONLINESofia, May 7, 2020

On May 7 2020 the academic year for the new health mediators from all over the country started. The education is organized for a ninth consecutive year by the National Network of Health Mediators in partnership with the Faculty of Public Health (FPH) of the Medical University – Sofia. BFPA is an important and integral part of the educational team from the very start of the health mediator program. This year’s class consists of around 50 people from all over the country. In the difficult situation because of COVID-19 academia, municipalities and the mediators themselves faced for the first time the challenge to ensure an online education instead of the traditional form in FPH at MU-Sofia using the modern possibilities for online communication.

PRINTThe education will continue for a month until the beginning of June. The remote education will be aided by a “Health Mediators’ handbook” prepared by the educational team and it will help the students with learning the material. The edition is also a valuable resource for the already working “veteran” mediators. In the handbook they can find also the topics that have been elaborated by BFPA – basic periods in human development, family planning, reproductive health, contraception, STIs, maternal and child health, prevention of cervical and breast cancer, health campaigns and messages in the Roma community, effective communication in a multiethnic environment, etc. The final exams will be conducted again in the online platform due to the epidemiological situation in the country, but will give to the commission of trainers the opportunity to discuss individually with every mediator and assess the level of knowledge acquired.
Again this year the potential new health mediators were selected through a transparent selection procedure held by every municipality with the representation of RHI and the NNHM educational expert team a part of which is BFPA. The main criteria for being selected are a high-school education degree, being part of the community they will work in, knowledge and partiality to the problems of the community and fluency in the communal language.
The new health mediators will work in the municipalities of Aitos, Borovan, Borovo, Byala, Vetovo, Vidin, Vulchi dol, Vurbitza, Gulyantzi, Gurkovo, Dimitrovgrad, Dobrich, Dryanovo, Elena, Etropole, Kavarna, Karnobat, Kaspichan, Krivodol, Letnitza, Lom, Lukovit, Medkovetz, Mezdra, Muglizh, Montana, Novo selo, Pazardjik, Purvomai, Samuil, Sandanski, Septemvri, Simitli, Sliven, Straldja, Strumyani, Sungurlare, Tvurditza, Troyan, Ugurchin and Yablanitza.
In 2020 with an allocated state budget there will be 260 health mediators working in 136 municipalities in Bulgaria.
During the education of the new batch of health mediators the efforts continue to inform communities about the COVID-19 epidemic, the ways of protection and complying with the anti-epidemic measures as well as for supplying the health mediators with personal protection equipment and hygiene material and basic products for the most vulnerable families.

 

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‘My Body, My Rights’: Health Mediators form Yambol Municipality about their work in State of Emergency Conditions

Yambol, May 2020

The parents are unemployed. Several days ago one of the brothers has come from abroad, unfortunately with no money. All the family does not have the right to go out of home. They all are quarantined. One day while she is working in her cabinet Kina Asenova is hearing a kid crying on the street. She is going out to see what is happening and sees the family’s six-year old child shaking on the ground and screaming. She finds out that the boy wants a snack very much and the family cannot afford that kind of expense... She goes to the shop, buys a box of the snacks and gives it them. ‘The next day we started distributing food. We gave it away without judging people’s race. We give as well for mentally disabled and people with different diseases’.
Kina is health mediator from 2008, but she works with people on different projects from the 2000s. People trust her. Her colleagues – Atanaska Mutafova, Asen Stoyanov, Atanas Atanasov, Ivan Ivanov and the mediators from Tundja Municipality daily do work in the villages Kukorevo, Kozarevo, Veselinovo, Drazhevo, Hadjidimovo. They work all day long, even on weekends. ‘Since Bulgaria declared state of emergency because of the Covid pandemic we are every day on the field, we give information on the infection, explain them why it’s important to stay at home. We are tracking people who came back from abroad and we make sure that they follow the quarantine guidelines. We have such people in almost every village.’

 
‘My Body, My Rights’ – Successes and Challenges

Health mediators from Montana, Bulgaria, and their work in state of emergency
Montana, March-May 2020

Peter Cvetanov, Sonya Rumenova and Valya Alexandrova are health mediators in Montana Municipality. The three of them as a team are implementing activities part of the project of Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) – ‘My Body, My Rights’ (2018–2021). In addition to their municipality, pilot work is being done in two other locations in Bulgaria: Yambol and Sofia. The project is implemented in partnership with organizations from Serbia and Romania, with the coordinating role of International Planned Parenthood Federation and is supported by the programme for social responsible business of the company MSD via their campaign ‘MSD for Mothers’. Main goal of the initiative is to improve the conditions for ensuring quality of family planning services for vulnerable communities and to build capacity and civil responsibility within the communities.
Sonya in a health mediator from 2013. She graduated economics, married with two children: a boy and a girl: ‘Several years ago Roma women from the neighborhood didn’t see doctors for prophylactics. Part of them were not insured, others simply were living with their prejudices and fears. We had two obstetrics-gynecologists as part of the Bulgarian-swiss cooperation program ZOV. They were visiting the health center in the neighborhood according to schedule. Then we decided to form local women’s group for self support, where initially timidly, but afterwards more confidently we started talking about examinations, contraception, family planning, prevention of sexually transmitted infections... The women from the group started little by little to shake off their fears.’ They just made progress and the activities on project ended. Only  mediators remained in the health center. And then for them new opportunity arose via the project ‘My Body, My Rights’. ‘It gave us the opportunity to continue just on time. The group for self support is developing; the health center in the neighborhood is alive again.’ Sonya succeeded to motivate a poor mother of nine children for IUD insertion. Before that she tried many times, but without any success. ‘I think that she was mostly afraid of being damaged by IUD. Now I know for sure that my long-term working with this woman was not in vain.”

 
Learning Action Partnership: Efforts for Guaranteed Sustainability

Sofia, February 12, 2020

The first for 2020 meeting of the Learning Action Partnership took place in Sofia on February 12, 2020. The agenda included review of activities done on project up to the moment, fixing of concrete future activities and defining small working groups for the different strategic directions.
Representatives of organizations and institutions who participated shared their working plans and the possibility of inclusion of other LAP members in joint activities. Part of the feedback was connected with the increase of fake news, including on priorities of the Partnership. The atmosphere of the event was businesslike, but with extremely well expressed solidarity and good collaboration feeling. In the debates during the meeting important actual topics were covered, such as increasing media and digital literacy of children and challenges, which we are meeting in our work with teachers with long practice on certain age and with burnout. Forming network of children and young people with innovative model of managing was discussed, which will aim decreasing the aggression of children under residential care. How to focus our work so that the efforts put to have guaranteed sustainability; science and research approach and regional and national level partnerships; the need to work together to change the environment – were among topics discussed during the event.

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Events :: Достъп :: Start of the Academic year of Health Mediators 2020