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Frontpage News 2012 Health screening for the homeless


Health screening for the homeless

  • The Norway Grants supports a free cancer and infectious diseases screening programme for homeless people and other disadvantaged groups in Hungary.

    The Hungarian Maltese Charity Service Association provides free medical services to socially underprivileged groups such as homeless people, residents in institutional care institutions, prison inmates and members of the Roma community. Members of these groups are often without stable domicile, which may make it more difficult for them to access the public health system. Homeless people are especially vulnerable to infections and the global re-emergence of tuberculosis (TB).

    In recognition of this, the Hungarian Maltese Charity Service Association has since 1995 operated a mobile screening unit – a bus equipped with lung screening equipment – and actively seeks out members of disadvantaged groups to offer them free health screening. The screenings may enable an early diagnosis of tuberculosis, breast and lung cancer and of cardiac and vascular diseases.

    A lifesaver on wheels
    With €484 000 in support from Norway, the Hungarian Maltese Charity Service Association will now finally be able to replace the 30-year old bus and its outdated medical equipment. A brand new, environmentally friendly bus will be purchased and equipped with state of the art medical equipment, including a digital x-ray machine.

    "For a more accurate diagnosis and less impact on the environment, the old x-ray equipment will be replaced by a new, digital picture system. In this way we can have an immediate diagnosis since there is no longer any need to wait for pictures to develop," explains Tabak Lajos, driver of the mobile screening unit.

    Thanks to the mobile screening unit, nearly 10 000 people were screened last year. 400 people were referred for further treatment. For these people, the mobile screening unit may well turn out to be a lifesaver on wheels.

    The mobile screening unit is one of a total 215 institutions and centres the Hungarian Maltese Charity Association operates across Hungary. The Association’s objective is to assist people in need, the sick, the old, those with physical or social handicaps, the homeless, refugees and pilgrims, and victims of disasters and war.

    The new mobile screening unit was inaugurated on 26 May.

    Photo: Guri M. Smenes, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Budapest

  • Country:


    Project title:

    Hungarian Maltese Charity Service Association medical capacity development with installation of mobile lung cancer screening unit

    Case number:


    Priority sector:

    Health and childcare


    € 484,079



    Type & project assistance:

    Individual Project

    Project promoter:

    Hungarian Maltese Charity Service Association

    Type of institution:

    Non-governmental organisation

    Project duration:

    10 months

    Project cost:

    € 537,866

    Grant rate:


    Grant from:

    Norway Grants

    Grant agreement date:

    07 September 2009

    The purpose of the Project is to purchase and equip a mobile lung-screening unit, with the overall objective of diagnosing and preventing the spread of infectious diseases and cancer in homeless and other disadvantaged populations in Hungary. Reference is made to the application dated 16 June, 2008 and to any subsequent correspondence with the Focal Point.

    The completed Project shall include the following activities and results:

    - public procurement and purchase of a bus to be adapted into a mobile lung screening unit;

    - purchase of the x-ray and other screening equipment necessary for testing for diseases such as TB, breast cancer, lung cancer;

    - awareness raising campaign, particularly for outreach to the homeless and other disadvantaged groups who are not in the mainstream of society;

    - management and project publicity

    The project Promoter is the Hungarian Maltese Charity Service Association.

    The Focal Point shall ensure that the Project Promoter provides at least 10 percent of the total eligible Project costs.