ROMANIA: Health services for marginalized communities
After the 1989 overthrow of the Communist regime in Romania, a decade of economic instability and decline ensued. This decline exacerbated the social dislocation and poverty of the nation’s most vulnerable groups. Marginalized populations, such as the Roma, women, and children, were the hardest hit by deteriorating conditions and resulting health crises, including disproportionately high rates of tuberculosis (TB). In 2003, HealthRight International* launched programs to curb the spread of disease and to directly address the health needs of the most excluded populations.
Targeting the needs of the excluded
Roma and other excluded populations are disproportionately affected by diseases such as TB, and face large hurdles to receiving adequate health care. HealthRight’s work in Romania has employed multiple approaches to improve Roma communities’ access to health services, improved the quality and availability of services, and created community advocates to address health epidemics and advocate for greater resources for health care.
Communication, education, and social mobilization
Working with local ministries and organizations, HealthRight strengthened the National TB Control Program and built the capacity of the Romanian health care system to treat and prevent TB. HealthRight’s efforts led to the development of a nation-wide communication and education campaign to raise awareness of TB, help prevent its spread, and encourage those with symptoms to seek treatment.