First priority: No “invisible children”! - Supporting integrated community-based health services for ‘invisible children’ in selected communities in Romania

First priority: No “invisible children”! - Supporting integrated community-based health services for ‘invisible children’ in selected communities in Romania is a project that has been run by UNICEF Romania as of 2011 in 8 counties from the North-East of Romania. The project starts from the premise that social-protection policies have a limited impact on the most vulnerable categories of children and their families, especially because they are focused on the financial dimension of social assistance, more specifically on the social benefits.

In 2012, a primary health care (PHC) component – the project “Supporting integrated community-based health services for ‘invisible children’” run by CHPS - was added to the UNICEF project

“First priority: No “invisible children”!”, as requested by UNICEF.

The project is taking place in 8 pilot counties from N-E Romania:  Bacău, Botoşani, Buzău, Iaşi, Neamţ, Suceava, Vaslui şi Vrancea.

Direct interventions were made in 64 communities during the 1st implementation phase and they continue in 32 communities (4 communities in each of the 8 pilot counties) in the 2nd and 3rd phases, while the delivery of technical assistance is still maintained in the 64 communities.

The project also has a component run at national level – legislative proposals and results dissemination. As a result, a series of activities take place in Bucharest.

The general objective of the project is the improvement of primary-health care (PHC) quality and the better integration of primary health care services with the social and educational services at community level, in order to increase population access, especially children’s, to equitable and quality core medical and social services.

 

 

Images from the project activities

The specific objectives target:

  • The evaluation of the current state of the PHC in the 64 communities selected for phase 1 of the project – quantitative and qualitative analysis,
  • The improvement of the collaboration between the specialists who work in the social and medical fields at community, local and county level, so that there is a better integration of all the efforts at the various levels towards serving the population – at multi-disciplinary and inter-institutional levels.
  • The development of the PHC human resources – both at community level, but also at county and regional levels, through the preparation of adequate, well adapted training materials and the delivery of training sessions.
  • The identification of recommendations for the improvement of the current regulatory and operational framework for PHC, based on the consultation of the specialists who work in the social and medical fields: community nurses, medical mediators for the roma communities, social workers, school mediators, representatives of the relevant public authorities, PHC and public health experts.
  • Pilot interventions at community level to increase children’s access to PHC services that are integrated with the social and education services.

 

Images from the project activities

The results for 2012-2013 have covered:

  • The analysis of the current legislative framework, together with the development of a comprehensive proposal for the revision of the specific legislation through changing the new Health Law and defining application norms for this primary legislation,
  • The execution of 75 visits in the communities targeted by the project, during which the following were delivered: 40 training sessions in the relevant areas identified as part of the project and 35 session for informing, educating and communicating with the target groups – during the 1st implementation phase.
  • The initiation and support of the recruiting and hiring process for the community nurses and medical mediators for the roma communities in the 8 counties covered by the project through the provision of expert counseling and specific promotional/advocacy activities, which led to the preparation by the local authorities of 19 hiring requests for specialist staff.
  • A comprehensive study – historical, current situation assessment and the preparation of recommendations for the improvement of the existing legislative and operational framework for PHC (primary and secondary legislation).
  • A raport that analyzes in-depth the registration of the population at risk in 32 communities (4 communities in each of the 8 counties covered by the project) – the analysis was conducted based on the data gathered via specific, polyvalent tools developed, piloted and implemented at community level as part of the project.
  • Supporting and monitoring the delivery of the training sessions at community level with the participation of 791 persons at risk (the 2nd project implementation phase).
  • Supporting the set-up (technical assistance) of 18 meetings with medical, social and education sector workers in the communities covered by the project.
  • The development of a training course with interdisciplinary/polyvalent social, medical and educational approach and the delivery of a Train the Trainer session for 14 specialists from the social and medical fields who work for the relevant authorities at county level.
  • Supporting (technical assistance) and monitoring the delivery of the training sessions at the community and county levels, where 153 specialists (community nurses, social workers, roma mediators, physicians, nurses, employees of the local authorities/mayor’s hall).

The project has been taking place during May 15th, 2012 – January 11th, 2013 (phase 1), May 20th , 2013 – January 31st, 2014 (phase 2), while on February 27th, 2014, the continuation – phase 3 has been approved. The financing is provided by UNICEF Romania.