UP MS Migrant Health Programs

Expert-level European Symposium

Pécs, Hungary, 27–29 October 2014

Scope and purpose

Most Roma people face gross inequities in health and health care across Europe. Evidence shows poorer health and higher rates of illness and mortality among Roma than in majority populations. Poverty, segregation and communication barriers have been documented as the main factors preventing Roma from equitable access to health care and enforcement of their right to health. This situation is observed at both individual and community levels.

The University of Pécs Medical School in partnership with the WHO Regional Office for Europe and in coordination with the WHO Country Office, Hungary will organize and host a European expert-level symposium, entitled Healthy Ageing in Roma Communities: Endowers – Realities – Perspectives.

MSc in Migrant Health: Addressing New Challenges in Europe – CHANCE

An ERASMUS Lifelong Learning Program (2010)

A Brief Introduction

The number of migrants in the enlarged European Union is increasing rapidly and in the EU 25 is estimated as high as 50 million. Addressing migrant health goes beyond issues of differing morbidity profiles and vaccination status linked to country of origin or potential for spreading diseases. Assistance tailored to migrants' needs is an essential prerequisite of their smooth and successful integration. Its success has clear economic impact and benefits, and increases the public health safety of the host countries. Although this rapidly increasing need for specially trained professionals capable coping with this complex, multidisciplinary task - where health, human rights and intercultural aspects are equally represented - is more and more recognised, at present there is significant shortage of formal higher education programs in Europe aiming to build the human resource capacity that will address this new challenge.

The consortium's main objective is to develop and implement a Master-level curriculum in Migration Health. The academic content is built around six competencies: epidemiology and research methodology, environmental medicine and occupational health, economic / health economic impact of migration, organization and systems management, clinical and public health assessment, and social and behavioural aspects of migration including multicultural, multireligious aspects and their health/ mental health impact. The academic year will be fourteen months in length, consisting of three fourteen week semesters and six weeks devoted to the completion of a practicum and pursuit of an individually designed project. The program will match the EU standard criteria and will provide 120 credit (according to the European Credit Transfer System /ECTS) in addition to the candidates minimum required BA level diploma.
Newsletter 2012/2

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Prof. István Szilárd MD., PhD. will be a keynote speaker on the 18th International Congress of Rural Health and Medicine which has the main theme of "Challenges of Rural Medicine in a Global Village" between 10-12 December 2012. He will introduce the CHANCE project on the conference, and promote the closing conference titled Tackling Health Inequalities in Europe Through Human Capacity Building which will be held in Pécs next September.

We have started the development of the CHANCE website where more information on the closing conference titled Tackling Health Inequalities in Europe Through Human Capacity Building will be posted. Going online in January, the website will contain a registration and abstract sending form, accommodation tips and information of Pécs as well. The 2nd newsletter of the project will also be published in January.

The representatives of our Department – Prof Dr István Szilárd, Dr Szabolcs Fekete, Dr Zoltán Katz and Zsófia Freund – gave an account of the program which aimed to develop an internet-based platform for professionals, based on the framework of Open Society Foundations- Roma Health Network, at the Budapest Office of the Open Society Institute on 14 September 2012. The network that has been developed by our colleagues and named RomaHealthNetwork was introduced on the meeting. The website with the domain www.romahealthnet.org aims to offer new perspectives for researchers, educators, decision-makers concerning health policy, and any other professional working in this field by combining several functions. The website strives to incorporate the main functions of databases and social network sites, ensure one’s opportunity to follow up on events concerning the topic, and help in making contacts on a moderated forum.

An agreement came into existence on the meeting regarding the future cooperation which is thought to be important and useful by both parties in the development and improvement of the health and social state of the Roma. However, our colleagues and the representatives of the institute agreed to further develop the RomaHealthNetwork that has been established by them earlier.

The representatives of our Department participated in a workshop which was held under the framework of the IPA Cross-border Co-operation Program(Hungarian-Croatian Regional Cross-border Cooperation Program) in Osijek, Croatia on 10-11 September 2012. The curriculum of the six module postgraduate course, “Health Management”, which has been developed in the framework of the project, was introduced by the module developers, and it was adopted by the Accreditation Committee of both institutions unanimously. Dr Péter Németh, Dr Gábor Ternák and Dr Lajos Bogár represented our Faculty in the Accreditation Committee.

On 12 September 2012, representatives of the Hungarian Baptist Aid visited the Department of Infectology, Catastrophe Medicine and Oxyology to discuss the future cooperation. Several common issues and goals have been unraveled in the work of the two institutions during the introduction which could be a good basis for joint projects in the future. The two parties agreed to support each other, outlined the basis of the cooperation, and assigned the first duties to each other. 

The Department of Infectology, Catastrophe Medicine and Oxiology attended the 6th conference organized by the National Union of Public Health Education and Research Institutes in Budapest.

The following topics were presented on the event by our colleagues in Hungarian:

Prof Dr István Szilárd, Prof Dr Árpád Baráth, Dr Antal Tibold and Kia Golesorkhi: Development of a cross-border public health education program within the framework of the IPA Croatian-Hungarian cooperation program that is co-financed by the EU.

Dr Chen Sheng Wei, Dr Zoltán Katz, Erika Marek and Prof Dr István Szilárd: Examination of attitudes towards immunization amongst Chinese population in Hungary

The following topics were presented on the event by our colleagues in English:

Erika Marek, Dr Tímea Dergez, Dr Gábor Rébék-Nagy, Dr Zoltán Katz, Prof Dr István Szilárd, Prof Dr Péter Gőcze: Sharp rise in awareness – little impact on attitudes – no changes in sexual behaviour: results of an HPV-focused educational intervention

Dr Zoltán Katz, Erika Marek, Prof Dr István Szilárd: Development of recommendation for migrant vaccination as a new EU policy health priority.

Prof Dr István Szilárd held a three-day training within the BOMCA (Boarder Management in Central Asia) program concerning the health and healthcare problems connected to the responsibilities of border guards of the five partner countries in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He introduced the research of our university which had been conducted along the whole stretch of the Schengen border in Hungary, Slovakia and Poland. The conclusions of this research were adapted to the problems of the BOMCA countries during the training. The program is funded by the European Union.

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