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X National Meeting “Initiative for Health and Vaccination”
09.12.2016 NNHM, Bulgaria

On 8 December 2016 the X National Meeting “Initiative for Health and Vaccination” took place in Sofia. The meeting was officially opened by Ms Daniela Daritkova, Chair of the Parliamentary Health Committee at the 43rd National Assembly. 

In the meeting participated Dr Angel Kunchev (Chief State Sanitary Inspector of Bulgaria), Ivanka Krasteva (Deputy Chair of the National Health Insurance Fund), Denitsa Sacheva (Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy), Ana-Maria Vilamovska (Secretary of Bulgarian President in the sphere of innovational and health policy) Dr Stoyan Borisov (Chief Secretary of Bulgarian Doctor’s Union), Prof. Dr Ivaylo Tournev (Head of the Neurology Clinics at University Hospital “Aleksandrovska” and Chair of Ethnic Minorities Health Problems Foundation), representatives of state institutions, national consultants, leading health specialists, representatives of regional health inspectorates, health mediators, partners from the NGO sector and representatives of GlaxoSmithKline. 

Main topic in the meetings was the development of the health mediation program in Bulgaria through projects on regional and national level as well as the work of the health mediators among vulnerable communities in different regions of the country. The focus was on sharing experience and good practices in the partnership between health mediators, institutions and health specialists during the work for improving the quality and accessibility of health care and services. 

In 2016 in Bulgaria 195 health mediators are working within the state budget allocated to 113 municipalities. At the start of T4BH project in 2012 the health mediators were 109. GSK General Director Mr Nikolaos Ksidias stated that the company will continue to support the project. He shared that the role of the health mediators is very important because of the fact that they belong to the communities in which they work and know well their needs and problems. This is the reason why they are successful partners of vulnerable groups and institutions for improving the access to health care. During the meeting were presented project results – within the project framework 52 health mediators were trained since 2012. 

Veselina Ognianova, HM in Belitsa, presented Personal Hygiene and Sanitation Education Campaign which was successfully introduced through the work of the HMs in Bulgaria. 

The cooperation between health mediators and doctors from different hospitals and the regional health inspections was presented as well and many examples of good practices were shared. The HM from Harmanli Fani Ivanova (working for T4BH project in 2016) presented her work with Regional Health Inspectorate-Haskovo for carrying out of prophylactic check-ups and blood tests of more than 500 people in Harmanli and Lyubimets. Antoaneta Eftimova, HM in Blagoevgrad, shared what does it mean to work in a team – Antoaneta works for a fourth year already in cooperation with the hospital in Blagoevgrad together with her colleague Katia Kirilova (started as HM within T4BH project 4 years ago).

Another good practice for joint work of HMs and doctors from the hospital in Kubrat was shared – Ani Yordanova recounted thoroughly for her work with children from vulnerable groups aged 10-19 years on the topic of sexual and reproductive health. Dr Tania Georgieva (GP) and the HM Milio Dobrev from Straldzha recounted how important is the good collaboration and team work of HMs and GPs for achieving success. 

Parallel with the official part of the meeting a stand presenting materials developed by NNHM and used by the HMs in different activities was opened for visitors in the foyer of the Parliament. HMs and Roma students in Medicine answered to questions posed by the deputies passing by. 

Presentation about project "Together for Better Health" (2012 - 2018) is available in Bulgarian. 



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