To Build a Bridge

Training for Health Professionals and Law Enforcement Officers

Summary Report on the MIPEX Health Strand and Country Reports

Border Management and Detention Procedures: Health Perspective

guidelines

Guidelines

Download

Migration Health: Better Health for All in Europe

AMAC

Assisting Migrants and Communities

Download

Improving HIV data comparability

HIV1 

HIV-related data on migrant and ethnic minority populations in EU/EEA/EFTA

Download 

Mobility of Health Professionals

MHD RO Brussels Publications

Regional Intervention on ‘’Health Mediation and the Roma”

First Study Visit to Bulgaria, June 2014

The First Study Visit of the Regional Intervention on “Health Mediation and the Roma” has been organized in June 2014 in Bulgaria aiming to investigate in depth Roma health mediation programmes in the EU, to discuss similarities and differences, and to exchange good practices and tools between mediators and programme coordinators.

This event took place within the EQUI HEALTH project framework in collaboration with the National Network of Health Mediators (Bulgaria) and with the support of the Federal Public Service for Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment (Belgium).

Roma Health Mediators (HMs) and program coordinators from Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Romania, Slovakia and Spain participated as well as representatives of Ministries of Health, Public Health Institutes and CSOs.

Three main objectives were reached: 1) Introduction workshop on the health mediation programs/models in Bulgaria, Slovakia and Spain, 2) Field visits to two Roma settlements in the country side of Bulgaria (Blagoevgrad and the village of Kovachevo, Pazardzhik region); to observe the work of Roma health mediators in practice, and 3) Elaboration of recommendations for future work.

Opportunities to compare and discuss among colleagues respective mediation approaches were provided as well as to receive information on Roma health assistance, to open channels for communication, and to build tools for developing European Network of Community Health Mediators.

Participants agreed on the need of establishment and further development of EU mediation network as it would foster cooperation between health mediators, programme coordinators, health authorities of the EU Members States in order to foster healthcare provision for the Roma in respective countries.

Lobbying for the official recognition of the health mediator’s profession at EU level, harmonizing training and implementation of joint training programmes, standardization of the health mediators’ tasks and ethical codes were among the recommendations made during the First Study Visit of the Regional Intervention on “Health Mediation and the Roma”.

 

Second Study Visit to Belgium & France, November 2014

lilleboyThe initiative to develop European Network of Community Health Mediators was continued during the Second Study Visit organized in November 2014 in Belgium & France.

The event was organized and hosted by IOM MHD RO Brussels in collaboration with the Federal Public Service for Public Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment (Belgium) and the logistic support of the Association pour l’Accueil des Voyageurs (ASAV).

Participants were Roma health mediators and program coordinators from Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, FYROM, Romania, Slovakia and Spain, as well as representatives of Ministries of Health, Public Health Institutes and CSOs.

Three main objectives were reached: 1) Introduction to the health mediation programs/models in Belgium, France and Romania, 2) Field visits to six Roma settlements in Lille (Northern France), and 3) Elaboration of recommendations for future work.

Participants agreed to continue developing a mediation network that would establish strong links and professional partnership between health mediators, programme coordinators, and healthcare providers within the EU Member States.

An online communication platform will be created to allow regular exchange of information between mediators and programme coordinators from the EQUI HEALTH project target countries. The efforts for increasing the visibility of the health mediator’s work will continue. Health mediation implementing organization will be working towards harmonizing training and implementation of joint training programmes and exchanges.

Participants agreed on continuing advocacy for the official recognition of the health mediator’s profession in the EU Member States.

The practical focus will be kept during future meetings as it allows mediators to get acquainted with particular cases requiring specific interventions/solutions in different countries.

 

I did not know such settlements exist in Western Europe

(Participant's story about experiences in Lille, France)

 

I was deeply impressed by what we saw. First of all, I was not aware of the fact that such settlements exist in Northern and Western Europe. It strikes me that after the visit in Bulgaria, I had the feeling: “yes, but this is Eastern Europe, this is a situation that you won’t find in Western Europe”.

In the encampment we were invited by a large family living in a wooden cabin (and where we were kindly offered coffee, Coca Cola and biscuits). I was struck by the large number of inhabitants, and the large number of children, who did not – at least at the time of our visit – attend school. By the fissure in the wall, the door that did not close well as it was not straight, the kitchen cupboard attached to the wall but obviously meant to be installed on the ground (the handles were too high to be reached by any normal-sized person), the air smelling of the wood burning in the stove. Basic rights – e.g. the right to attend school – were in practice not respected.

What became even clearer to me during this visit is the need of mediation: the Roma interact so little with mainstream society that communication with outsiders (‘us’ to ‘them’ and ‘them’ to ‘us’) becomes very difficult, especially in a context of mutual distrust. Talking to the above-mentioned family, I had a hard time to believe some of the things that were being told. The collaborators of the NGO that accompanied us, helped us later during the bus ride, to understand what was real and what was, probably, not completely true. This was possible because they had established a relationship of trust with the persons living in the camp and are familiar with the different types of discourse used in the interaction with the ‘outside’ world. I take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude for the organization of the visit (and the interesting presentations by the collaborators of AREAS, Médecins du Monde and ASAV).

 

Third Study Visit to Romania, July 2015

The Study Visit, organized by IOM Bucharest and the National Institute for Public Heath Romania aimed at continuing the discussions on Roma Health Mediation, initiated in the previously organized study visits.

The event took place within the EQUI HEALTH project framework and counted with the participation of Roma Health mediators, programme coordinators and representatives from Ministry of Health from Belgium, Greece, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain.

DSC 3691

The main objectives of were: 1) Update the health mediation programmes implemented in Romania and Slovakia, 2) plan the establishment of a European Network of Community Health Mediators, and 3) introduction to the work of community workers in Romania through visits to Roma settlements.

During the two day workshop, participants had the opportunity to share their impressions and own experiences. The Train Intercultural Mediators for Multicultural Europe (TIME), a project exploring practices of training and employing intercultural mediators through the EU was presented as well as a Roma community toolbox, a tool for empowerment and communication between health mediators.

Field visits were also organised to Roma settlements in the Romanian municipality of Mihăilești (Giurgiu County) as well as to the “Caracuda” Centre for Harm Reduction in Bucharest, District 5.

Furthermore, participants agreed to combine efforts towards the compilation of an electronic book comprising the various models of health mediation implemented in EU Member States. All discussions and exchanges of opinions resulted in the elaboration of recommendations for future actions.

 

Fourth Study Visit to Spain, June 2016

Following the previously organized Study Visits in Bulgaria, Belgium, France and Romania, the initiative to develop an European Network of Community Health Mediators was further discussed and developed during the Fourth Study Visit organized in Seville, Spain.

The event took place within the IOM MHD Regional Office Brussels Equi-Health project framework hosted by the University of Seville and with the collaboration of the University of Pablo Olavide and local organizations from the neighbourhood of Polígono Sur in Seville.

P1000327

The Study Visit counted with the participation of Roma Health Mediators, programme coordinators from Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine as well as representatives from Civil Society Organisations, academia and local authorities in Seville.

The objectives of the meeting were to present the Roma health mediation in Spain, and in particularly the Roma health governance in the neighbourhood of Poligono Sur in Seville, National updates on health mediation programmes from participation countries, and updates from the European health mediators network e-platform.

Field visits to three Roma settlements and neighbourhoods with high percentage of Roma population in Seville (Polígono Sur, Torreblanca, and El Vacie) were also organized on the second day of the meeting.

Participants had the opportunity to further discuss on Roma Health Mediation and exchange good practices from local practices in their respective countries. The field visits gave to participants the opportunity to acquired knowledge and awareness of the socioeconomic situation and main problems faced by Roma populations in Seville. Furthermore, visits to several primary health centres and meetings with social services representatives working with local Roma populations, gave participants an overview of good initiatives being implemented as well as the main barriers and obstacles still present regarding Roma access to health care.

P1000410