Areas of special interest

CERVICAL CANCER

The campaign aims at raising awareness and informing society of the danger and complications of cervical cancer. The initiative addresses risk factors, risk groups, prevention and treatment.

A specialized working group under the MH will elaborate a national plan addressing cervical cancer. Upon completing the national plan, an informative toolkit of promotional materials will be developed and disseminated throughout the country supplementing the ongoing training workshops in schools aimed at raising the health and sex culture of the civil society.

HIV

NPO’s campaigns for the past two years were dedicated to HIV/AIDS with special interest on improving social perception of the AIDS virus among the civil society as being a shameful disease and an automatic death sentence. Early diagnosis of the infection may halt its spreading and gives leeway for timely treatment. Modern medicine provides adequate treatment which can give patients decades of fulfilling life.

One of the initiatives regarding HIV/AIDS is the “& I know” campaign, a national awareness campaign for promoting prophylactic testing and early diagnosis of HIV. The initiative was implemented with the kind support of the Rotaract Club Sofia – Tangra and their national representative offices.

As a supplement to the campaign we elaborated a dedicated website (www.hivtest.bg) which holds exhaustive information on the disease, prevention techniques, possibilities for free testing and current news on the subject.

NPO is also actively involved in the annual commemoration of the World HIV/AIDS Day on December 1st. Despite the meteorological conditions, vans are parked around Sofia and other major cities to provide free on-site testing for HIV/AIDS and in most cases Hepatitis B and C.

In 2011a group of young activists organized a procession in Sofia; the group passed through the center of the city and through parts of the largest parks while disseminating condoms and leaflets on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.

GLAUCOMA

In 2010 NPO assisted a group of patients suffering from glaucoma to establish their own organization – the Glaucoma Patient Organization. The aim of the organization is to protect the rights and interests of those diagnosed with glaucoma and to work toward improving the treatment environment and awareness of this condition.

The website www.glaucoma.bg was created to aid patients and their relatives in better diagnosing the first symptoms, understanding the implications, prophylactic measures and specialized treatment procedures.

Every year, during the international glaucoma week, the Bulgarian organization, with the help of NPO, organizes free screening testing for glaucoma to the general public. The testing is done after registering by calling NPO’s hotline toll-free at 0700 10 515.

CARDIOVASCULAR CONDITIONS

The most recently established patients’ organization within the circles of NPO is the Association “Heart” – the first organization in Bulgaria for people with cardiovascular conditions.

The formation of the organization is a natural step forward in the fight against severe social impact of heart related conditions in Bulgaria.


The “Heart” Association

  • Conducting awareness campaigns – providing exhaustive information to the general public on heart conditions, early diagnosis, prevention and treatment practices;
  • Creating a dialogue between patients and governmental authorities on questions regarding cardiac complications with special interest on protecting the rights of patients diagnosed with a heart condition and imposing standards of treatment for such people.
  • Establishing and sustaining working relationships with relevant organizations – the Union of Cardiologists in Bulgaria, as well as other organizations advocating for the rights of patients in Bulgaria and abroad.
  • International collaboration with other patient organizations and exchange of best practices and experience.
For awareness and publicity purposes a TV and radio spots were elaborated, as well as an online site (www.sarce.bg); all tools aim at attracting public’s attention to the organization and the initiative.

The first campaign of the organization was presented at the very initiation of the organization under the name “Protect your heart”. The initiative is realized as a joint activity together with the Bulgarian Society of Cardiology and the National Patients’ Organization. The campaign aims at voicing the severity of various heart conditions and to promote frequent testing among risk groups.