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A new project “Youth Voices, Youth Choices” of the Bulgarian Association for Family Planning and Sexual Health has been launched

Project logoMSD LogoSofia, February 8-10, 2021

The first online meeting of the project “Youth Voices, Youth Choices” was held on February 8-10, 2021. The project "Youth Voices, Youth Choices" (2021-2023) is a 30-month international project implemented in Bulgaria by the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA). Partner organizations from Albania, BiH, Kosovo and Northern Macedonia will implement similar initiatives in their countries. The project is implemented with the coordinative role of the International Planned Parenthood Federation with the support of the programme for socially responsible business of the company MSD and aims to create more accessible and youth-friendly SRH services and information, paying special attention to the most vulnerable groups.

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Public Communications – Challenges and Opportunities

OAK logoPresentationSofia, January 26, 2021

Public communications, fake news, trustful and propaganda websites for news, internet trolls, influencers, how to write attractively in social media were among the topics of online discussion for LAP members that took place on January 26, 2021. The journalist Vesislava Tancheva made an in-dept review of the topics and analyzed the possible reasons for that contemporary phenomena that are shaping the informational flow context in new online media. It was discussed how this context is being shaped by the politicians and how it reflects on everyday decisions and the life of everyone, as well on the changing policies in every area of our life and especially in healthcare and education spheres.

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Covid-19 pandemic – analyzed and explained

ParticipantsSofia, January 7, 2021OAK Logo
 
Online meeting with Prof. Radka Argirova, MD, leading virologist with prominent scientific and practical experience was held on January 7th, 2021. The meeting provoked interest and attracted attention of more than 80 people from all regions of the country – among them were representatives of Learning Action Partnership (LAP), BFPA staff and Management bard, NGOs, institutions, medical doctors and health mediators. The topic of the event was ‘ SARS-CoV-2 – About the Virus, Specific Diagnostics and Vaccines’ . During the more than two hours and a half lasted forum was presented a lecture including information about arising epidemics and pandemics, mechanisms of occurrence and evolution of viruses; main generally accepted facts, diagnosis and development of Covid 19. Review of the types of tests for Covid 19 was made, qualities of antigen test and types of PCR tests were discussed, as special attention was drawn to cases with false negative results, asymptomatic patients, and symptomatic patients with negative results. Special attention was also given to the different vaccines elaborated to combat the virus. Participants took the opportunity to ask additional questions after the lecture. You can listren to them in Bulgarian here
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Outwitting the pandemic - in search of digital applications for health education and information

EventLogoSofia, Montana, Yambol, December 2020

Despite the restrictions imposed by the measures against Covid 19, in recent months the planned activities in the second year of the project "My body, my rights", supported by the socially responsible business program "MSD for mothers", continue in three locations - Sofia, Montana and Yambol. The coordinators of the project by places - Fakulteta district in Sofia - Valentin Blagoev, Kosharnik quarter and Ogosta quarter in Montana - Petar Tsvetanov and the whole Tundzha municipality in Yambol (the villages of Veselinovo, Kukorevo, Tenevo, Zavoy) - Kina Assenova, hold meetings of self-help groups - though in  more limited numbers due to precautionary measures, conduct training events for young people - outdoors, through specialized stands for distribution of printed materials for the project itself and for the SRH in general, and most importantly - support marginalized members of communities with hygiene materials, essential goods and medicines and specialized information for prevention from Covid, along with the usual topics - prevention of unwanted pregnancy, prevention of STIs, maternal and child health and many others, through selfless and exhausting walking from the neck of door due to the impossibility to organize large information sessions.

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Break the Silence: Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Violence of Children Could Happen Everywhere

Campaign posterSofia, November 18, 2020

Break the Silence: November 18 is the European Day on protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual violence.
The first thing that comes to mind when we hear ‘sexual exploitation’ is usually connected with red lanterns, streets or roads with women (and men) sex workers, trafficking of human beings. Sexual exploitation of children could have also other faces – sex services in exchange of expensive things such as smart phone or modern accessory or at the cost of a lunch, sweets or instead of rent for parents’ accommodation. It can happen via internet and to affect minors before they become teenagers. That’s why it is needed to break the silence and to ask for zero tolerance concerning this ugly phenomenon. Statistics show that one of five children becomes victim of violence, including sexual. As parents we can prevent this: we can teach them for instance on the Rule of the Bathing Suit. It says that no one has the right to touch their body, especially where the body is covered by a swimming bathing suit. Medical examinations and manipulations as well don’t have to be allowed without their informed consent. The rule helps children to understand that their bodies are their own, that there is good and bad touching, as well es personal borders and social ethnic norms.

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End inequality. End AIDS

Bulgaria, December 1, 2021

For yet another year, the international community celebrates December 1 - World AIDS Day. This year it is entitled "End inequality. End AIDS"
On December 1, 2021, the WHO calls upon world leaders and citizens to unite against inequalities and reach out to people who do not currently receive basic HIV services. Forty years after the first cases were reported, HIV still threatens the world. Separation, inequality and disregard for human rights have allowed HIV to become and remain a global health crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates inequalities and difficulties in health care delivery, a challenge for many people living with HIV.
According to the WHO, nearly 38 million people worldwide live with HIV/AIDS, with the number of newly infected people in 2020 being 1.5 million and the number of deaths being 680,000. Globally, in 2020, nearly 73% of those infected receive antiretroviral therapy. In Bulgaria, a total of 1,936 people with HIV are being followed up in the HIV / AIDS treatment sectors, and 1,910 (99%) of them are receiving antiretroviral therapy. In our country treatment is free for all people in need, regardless of their health insurance status. The therapy prolongs and improve quality of the of PLHIV and improves their quality of life. Bulgaria remains a country with low HIV prevalence - the frequency of newly registered cases of HIV infection per 100 thousand population for Bulgaria is 2.9 in 2020, and for comparison - the average for EU countries is 3.3.

 
Autumn fragments from BFPA’s Work

October – November 2021

BFPA launched another short animation ‘What are the Ways of Infections’ on its project ‘My Body, My Rights’ on October 1, 2021. The video gives an idea on the main ways of infecting the human body, on the work of the immune system and on the factors of which its proper functioning depends.
On process of working on the same project but this time in November, are another two films – a short animation on the methods of hormonal contraception; and one documentary on the benefits and challenges on the activities in the three projects locations: Sofia, Yambol and Montana with special focus on the work of field self-help groups. Both products will be finalized by the end of this year.

 
BFPA volunteer awarded in an international competition for social and youth cinema

Berlin, October 17, 2021

The volunteer of the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association Viktoria Nikolova returned on October 17, 2021 after participating in a youth exchange in Berlin. Her visit there is part of her award for participation in the international competition Youth.DanubeSalon - Shoot By Youth for social and youth cinema. A seven-member jury with representatives from Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Croatia, Romania and Serbia awarded the short film, dedicated to the need for health and sexuality education, made by her and a small team of three other young adults based on a script entirely constructed by them. The participants in the competition had to present a problem within a few minutes and to propose its solution. Coordinators on the Bulgarian side of the international initiative are colleagues from the Re-Act Association.

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