This article provides information about a vital programme implemented by EPHA partner organisation SASTIPEN Roma Center for Health Policies, based in Romania. Their ’’Health Mediation Programme: Opportunity for increasing the employment rate amongst roman women” is an example of how economic and health objectives can be tackled simultaneously.
Health Mediation Programme
The health mediation programme represents the “business card” for Romania when discussing best practices for improving the situation of Roma communities at international level. All public policy documents dealing with health contain specific measures about the programme, which is funded by the European Social Fund (Sectorial Operational Programme for Developing Human Resources 2007 – 2013).
The main goal of the project is to raise the employment rate among Roma women and facilitate their access to the labour market in order to avoid social exclusion and foster a society based on the principle of equal opportunities. At the same time, the women inform and educate Roma communities about their health rights, disease-specific problems, and prevention.
The project is supporting the implementation of the national health programme with two significant improvements:
1) developing a strategic and innovative instrument necessary for supporting the health mediation program by way of creating a Center for Training and Authorising Health Mediators, and
2) developing a Unit for Technical Assistance, Monitoring and Evaluation to assess health mediators’ activities in the context of decentralizing public health services in Romania.
For further information on the project, please visit SASTIPEN’s website at www.sastipen.ro
SASTIPEN is a non-governmental organisation founded in August 2007 that advocates to improve the access of Roma communities and other vulnerable groups to health services across Romania. Their target groups are women, pupils and students, Roma and non-Roma communities from rural areas, urban Roma communities, as well as public authorities.
EPHA is currently working with a SASTIPEN staff member and two other Roma rights activists based in Macedonia and Hungary in the context of the ’’EU Roma Health Champions’’ project funded by the Open Society Institute. The objectives is to provide the participants with the tools - through mentorship, training workshops, networking and various advocacy activities - to become active health advocates at EU level.
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