‘Public Health Initiatives’ programme launched in Romania
On 29 September, the Romanian ‘Public Health Initiatives’ programme was officially launched in Bucharest. The programme addresses Romania’s greatest health challenges and will enhance health care access for the most vulnerable groups, including Roma.
“Romanian - Norwegian collaboration is very important to us, with the financial support of colleagues from Norway, we have been able to develop projects that will improve the health status of patients suffering from TB and HIV, as well as helping disadvantaged people,” said Mr Nicolae Baniciou, the Minister for Health of Romania, underlining the importance of bilateral cooperation in the field of public health.
“The Grants aim to improve the quality of life in Romania. Strengthening public health is a core objective of the Norway Grants. Access to healthcare, among other things, is a prerequisite for a good and decent quality of life,” said Ms Tove Bruviok Westberg, the Norwegian Ambassador to Romania, who participated in the launch where she also emphasised the benefits of securing effective public health services, both for individuals and society as a whole.
What are the challenges?
Romania faces many of the health challenges common to all developing countries including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer, however significant disparities between high and low-income groups mean that some groups are difficult to reach or face barriers in accessing health services
Romania also has the highest incidence of preventable infectious disease, such as, Tuberculosis (TB) and Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and Hepatitis B – where the level of infection is twice the EU average.
Which public health issues are addressed?
Four projects will be implemented under the programme, each addressing a primary public health concern:
- Addressing HIV/AIDS, and Hepatitis B and C among injecting drug-users through targeted interventions.
- The eradication of Tuberculosis in Romania through both treatment among existing patients and pre-emptive testing.
- Strengthening the health of vulnerable groups through increased immunisation and screening by including Roma health mediators and nurses in healthcare teams working on outreach in Roma communities.
- Countering the increase of lifestyle related non-communicable diseases in Romania by launching and implementing targeted campaigns promoting healthier nutrition and more active lifestyles.
The programme is managed by the Ministry of Health of Romania.
Norway contributes € 8 104 000 to the programme.