The Minister of Health of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, Zlatibor Lončar, the director of Unicef in Serbia Michel Saint-Lot and the director of the “Telenor” company Ove Fredheim signed a contract on 2 July continuing cooperation on the “Povezivanje” project, aiming to improve the health and quality of life of the Roma through engaging healthcare mediators.
Speaking at a press conference held on this occasion at the Palace of Serbia, Lončar noted that the continued partnership will contribute to establishing a better and more efficient link between local communities, the Roma population, healthcare mediators and the healthcare system.
He said he is satisfied with the continued cooperation in this project, noting that the role of healthcare mediators is to participate in improving healthcare protection. By analysing the work done to date, the role of Roma healthcare mediators, of being a link between the healthcare system and the Roma population, has been fully met, stated the minister.
Saint-Lot noted that in just a few years Roma healthcare mediators made a large improvement to the lives of Roma families. He explained that access to healthcare services has been dramatically increased, that Roma child mortality in Roma settlements was halved, and their work helped Roma families exercise numerous other rights they have.
Healthcare mediators are employed in healthcare centres and trained to show Roma families the possibilities for the prevention and treatment of diseases, vaccination and implementation of all rights in the field of healthcare protection.
The project involves 75 Roma healthcare mediators in 59 towns and municipalities in Serbia. Until now, a total of 140,408 Roma from non-hygienic settlements have been registered, with 50,754 being children, 46,452 women.