Ethnic Minorities Health Problems Foundation

Ethnic Minorities Health Problems Foundation was established in 1997 as a non-government private volunteer organisation with a seat in Sofia.

Our team is interdisciplinary and includes doctors of medicine, psychologists, pedagogues, social workers and activists, representatives of various ethnic groups. We have been working for resolving the Roma health problems since 1994. We successfully cooperate with Roma coordinators all over Bulgaria as well as with local Roma NGOs. We involve and train Roma medical personnel.

In the process of our work during the period 1994-1997 related to solving the Roma health problems, our team reached to the conclusion that many social problems of the minority groups have to be resolved in parallel in order to achieve sustainable long-lasting and positive results. Thus the idea was born to expand the initial scientific-research and health-oriented profile of our activity by the establishment of an NGO with a much broader social orientation. With the establishment of the Ethnic Minorities Health Problems Foundation, our team began to implement various medical-social projects.

Management Bodies
The General Assembly is the supreme collective management body of the Ethnic Minorities Health Problems Foundation. The Board of Directorsí members are:
-†Professor Dr. Ivailo Tournev, M.D., Chairman
- Ognian Kamenov, Deputy Chairman
- Dr. Lydia Aneva, member.

The permanent team, participating in the project implementation, are:
- Dr. Velina Guergueltcheva, Child Neurologist
- Dr. Maria Katzarova, Orthopaedician
- Nikola Bozhkov, Psychologist
- Dimitar Dimitrov, Politologist
- Tsveta Petkova - culturologist
- Dora Petkova - sociologist
- Dilyana Dlkova - psychologist

To work for improvement of the Roma health and social status, for raising their quality of life and for their wholesome participation in all spheres of the public life.

To introduce the job position of a health mediator in the Roma quarters all over the country. The concept of the health mediator, developed by us, is as follows:
The Mediator is a Roma who assists the illiterate and unknowledgeable of the health system Roma in their access to health services and centres. The mediator performs the following functions: - Accompanies when necessary the Roma to the health and social services for solving of a particular health or social problem;
- Explains to both sides (medical staff and Roma) their expectations and understanding during the consultation;
- Assists the Roma with filling in of various documents and following the bureaucratic procedures;
- Clarifies the patientís rights and responsibilities and the way the health system functions;
- Explains to the medical personnel the needs and status of the Roma patients;
- Participates in various prevention programmes: vaccinations, genetic prevention, socially significant diseases prevention, etc.;
- Works for raising of the health culture and for popularizing and dissemination of health-related information
- Provides psychological support to families with chronically ill or handicapped people.

The Mediator works in the Roma communities to facilitate the access of Roma to pre-hospital care or works in the regional hospitals where he/she assists the provision of specialised health care. The health mediator works in close collaboration with the General Practitioner Doctors (GPs), nurses and social workers locally.

We Work For:

  • Organising and support of the research, diagnostic and prevention activities in the field of socially significant diseases among the Roma and other minority groups;
  • Improvement of minorities access to the health care and social services;
  • Social integration of chronically ill and handicapped people from the Roma and other ethnic minority communities;
  • Development and establishment of the citizenís society values;
  • Implementation of wholesome educational, health, social and cultural projects and programmes;
  • Social integration and personal realisation of disadvantaged Roma;
  • Overcoming discrimination in health and social services to Roma;
  • We maintain information system for the support of medical and ethnological research and for raising the public awareness of the minority groupsí health and social problems.
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