It is common knowledge that poor health adversely affects a child’s overall development and increases school absenteeism. Clearly, ongoing education of both parents and children on hygiene, nutrition and infectious disease prevention is sorely needed in rural areas.
Health issues in poor rural areas of Romania led GlaxoSmithKline to select OvidiuRo in 2012 to represent Romania in a regional Roma Health Initiative.
Since then, recurrent “Together for Better Health” grants amounting to €460,000 have allowed OvidiuRo and its medical school partners to provide rural communities with:
- Medicine, vitamins, fruit & hygiene products including hand soap, paper towels, toilet paper, antibacterial hand gel, and cleaning products (provided to over 400 communities)
- Health education to parents and children, including “hand washing” and “tooth brushing” posters distributed to kindergartens; 36,000 children participating in Sotron Summer Program health activities; and 55,000 children, parents & teachers participating in GSK’s PHASE project (“personal hygiene & sanitary education”)
- Diagnostic services through periodic medical caravans conducted by 700 medical students, residents, and specialists offering examinations in cardiology, pediatrics, ophthalmology, and dermatology. The 2018-2019 caravans examined children and adults in rural areas of Constanța, Satu Mare, Vaslui, Iași, and Covasna. Four were organized in partnership with Caravana cu Medici (Medical Doctors’ Caravan). In Covasna, it was conducted in partnership with the German NGO Die Johanniter. 15 medical caravans have treated 3400 people. Five hundred kindergartens participating in the 2019 Sotron Summer Programs received specially developed hygiene kits.