Representing all partners, Paul van Hoof, European Government Affairs Director Europe for GlaxoSmithKline, presented “Together for Better Health” at the seventh national meeting INITIATIVE FOR HEALTH AND VACCINATION in Sofia, Bulgaria. Mr. Van Hoof shared his personal story on how “Together for Better Health” project was started and highlighted the positive impact of project achievements in training more than 90 health mediators and benefiting already nearly 150,000 Roma children.
Mr. Van Hoof’s presentation was received favorably and a number of non-participating NGOs from different countries expressed interests in joining the TFBH project initiative. Also attending the meeting were the National Network of Health Mediators, Partners Hungary, OvidiuRo Association, and Association for Culture, Education and Communication from Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia.
The VII National Meeting “Initiative for Health and Vaccination” took place on September 27th at the Granite Hall, Council of Ministers, in Bulgaria. The meeting was hosted by Bulgaria Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Justice, and Chairperson of the National Council for Cooperation of Ethnic and Integration Issues.
Since 2010, this Initiative has been aiming to facilitate the access of hard to reach communities to the healthcare system in Bulgaria through improving the cooperation between the main participants in this process – governmental and non-governmental structures. By way of developing the health mediator model in the country, this collaboration has resulted in expanding the immunization coverage and decreasing infant mortality among the minorities.
Besides the official openings by the Bulgarian officials – Chairperson of the Parliamentary Healthcare Committee to the 42nd National Assembly, the Minister of Labor and Social Policy, the Deputy Minister of Health, the Secretary of the National Council for Cooperation on Ethnic and Integration Issues to the Council of Ministers, there were also greetings by representatives of WHO and a video message from the Director of ECDC.