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Frontpage News 2011 Strøm-Erichsen visits health projects in Romania

The Norwegian minister at the inauguration of the NoRo Center for Rare Diseases in Zalau.jpg

Strøm-Erichsen visits health projects in Romania

The Norwegian Minister of Health and Care Services, Mrs. Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen, visited Romania on 28 and 29 June to see three projects funded through the EEA and Norway Grants.

On June 28, Mrs. Strøm-Erichsen participated in the launch of the Pilot Reference Centre for Rare Diseases in Zalãu. The Norwegian minister also met with the Romanian health minister, Mr. Cseke Attila, to discuss further cooperation between Norway and Romania in the health sector.

Part of larger cooperation

The Center has been developed within the “Norwegian-Romanian Partnership for Rare Diseases”, a €2.1 million project financed by a grant from Norway and the Romanian Ministry of Health. The project was implemented by the Prader Willi Associations in Romania and Norway, and with Frambu Resource Centre for Rare Disorders in Norway.

“It was a project done with our hearts”, Mrs. Dorica Dan, the project coordinator, said when she met the Norwegian delegation at the entrance of the center. In her opening remarks, the Norwegian minister pointed out that she participated in this event in a double capacity, as health minister and as a mother. She expressed her appreciation of the excellent cooperation between Norway and Romania in the field of rare diseases, an area which requires special competence and cooperation across borders, and of the very good and hard work done by the project promoter and its partners.

Rare diseases budget increase

The Romanian health minister, Mr. Cseke Attila, pointed out that in the last few years the budget allocated to rare diseases has been constantly increased reaching approximately €50 million annually. On this occasion he informed that the rare diseases budget in Romania will be increased by €2 million as of July 2011. Both ministers referred to the driving force behind this project and its achievements – Mrs. Dorica Dan, president of Prader Willi Association Romania, a mother who turned her suffering into an opportunity for a great many families affected by rare diseases challenges; a person whose efforts and work resulted into what is now the first network and competence-building center for rare diseases in Romania.

New centre for healthy parenting

The Norwegian health minister also participated in the official opening of the Parenting Center in Bucharest, developed by the organization Save the Children Romania within the framework of the EEA Grants project “Towards Positive Healthy Parenting in Romanian Families”. The unit in Bucharest is one of five such parenting public centers opened within the project, aiming at improving the quality of mental healthcare provision to children in Romania. Of a total of 20 000 people with developmental disorders, 10 per cent live in the capital. Established with the help of Norway Grants, and co-financed by the Romanian Ministry of Health and by the Bucharest Mayor’s Office, the newly built and fully equipped day care center will offer treatment and adequate services to approximately 600 children annually.

All photos: Frambu Norway