Health Access for Roma Improves with Award-Winning Programme

01 February 2006

The Spanish national daily newspaper El Pais, on July 26, 2005, featured a special section on an award-winning program aimed at improving the lives of Roma in Spain's northern Navarre region. The Navarre Community Health Program for Roma consists of a network of public health officials and mediators assisting over 20 families receive better access to health care. Begun in 1987, the Navarre Community Health Program for Roma trains mediators to assist the 7,000 Roma in the Navarre area communicate with public health officials: 15 mediators selected by local Romani communities work in the region.

With the help of the Health Program, the number of Roma receiving social assistance in the Navarre region rose from less than 50% in 1987 to 90%. Approximately 80% of the Romani population receive vaccinations through the programme and an estimated 70% have received Hepatitis B vaccinations. Family planning initiatives are more effectively utilised as well with 62% of Romani women visiting a family planning centre, 75% receiving pre-natal car, and 25% attending pre-natal courses. The Health Program extends to health education courses on drugs and tobacco as well.

(El Pais)


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