press krygla 02 03 2017 2A round table on the problems and challenges in access to quality health care for young mothers and mothers of Roma origin took place in Sliven. The initiative was conducted by “Thirst for Life” Association. Stakeholders, specialists and experts took part in the discussion. The purpose of the round table was to draw up a map of the health problems in Nadezhda neighborhood in Sliven also to look for options on how to address them by organizing meetings and discussions with stakeholders.

From the very beginning it was defined the legal frameworks on access to healthcare - health rights and related obligations. The focus of the round table was on the visits of the newborn by doctors within 24 hours of their discharge from the hospital. After weekly meetings of experts and mediators from the "Thirst for Life" in the neighborhood "Nadezhda" it became clear that some of the doctors fulfill this obligation, others do not. There are cases where young mothers do not know at all about the existence of such a legal norm.

Here, in the discussion, doctors and specialists have pointed out as a problematic fact that they often encounter cases in which the mothers have given an address they do not live and are difficult to find. There were also cases of women who did not have a selected GP and therefore did not notify anyone about their pregnancy and their follow-up. Also, cases were reported where mothers did not know that they should lead their children to prophylactic examinations, and the main reason for this was the lack of awareness. A serious problem, according to doctors, is communication with patients - the language barrier poses the greatest difficulties. This, according to the participants in the discussion, occurs in the most risky environment - Roma with low social and educational krygla 02 03 2017 3

In presenting their project on "Thirst for Life", they clarified that this is one of the main goals of informing young mothers and newborn women about their rights, but also about their duties; to identify weaknesses in access to quality health care, which will contribute to raising the health culture and more responsible attitude of both doctors and women.

The issue of newborn immunizations was also affected. It is increasingly common practice to adhere to the established immunization calendar, but mothers are unaware that children are immunized only when they are completely healthy.

At the end of the round table representatives from RZI, Municipal Community Center, Cosmetic Diseases, Doctors, Specialists and Initiators of Thirst for Life decided that in pursuit of the common goal they could establish sustainable and fruitful cooperation. It was unanimously accepted that good work was done not only with young women who were born, but also with their families, because sometimes the social and private peculiarities of the vulnerable group are a serious obstacle to access to quality health care.

The round table was possible thanks to "Thirst for Life" Association and the project "Monitoring of visits by doctors of newborn babies in Nadezhda neighborhood, Sliven", funded by the Public Health Program of Open Society Foundations.

Selected moments


Have you test yourself for HIV / AIDS?

Yes - 62.5%
No - 31.3%
Not for me - 6.3%

Total votes: 16


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