On 22 – 23 March 2012, a two-day conference organized by the Ministry of Health took place at Rodina Hotel in Sofia. The conference was attended by representatives of the Glob@l Libraries – Bulgaria Program Management Unit (PMU) and 20 target libraries from across the country.
The conference presented the results of the Informed and Healthy information campaigns conducted by the Ministry of Health and outlined future activities and their implementation timeline.
The Informed and Healthy Project of the Ministry of Health aims to improve the population’s working capacity, extend their active labor life and maintain healthy workforce by enhancing the knowledge, skills and motivation for healthy lifestyles.
The organizers of the conference extended a special invitation to representatives of the Glob@l Libraries – Bulgaria Program and target libraries in order to continue the cooperation and establish contacts with the Regional Public Health Inspectorates.
Many libraries from across the country took part in the implementation of the Communication Strategy by using the created content (videos, brochures, fliers) during lectures and discussions conducted with a variety of target groups.
Conference attendees included representatives of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, the Social Assistance Agency, the General Labor Inspectorate Executive Agency, the Regional Public Health Inspectorates, the National Center of Public Health and Analysis, the National Road Safety Agency, the National Center for Addictions, municipalities, NGOs.
Natalia Georgieva, Advocacy and PR Manager, presented to the audience the Glob@l Libraries – Bulgaria Program and the health initiatives implemented by the libraries. She pointed out that the cooperation between the libraries and the Regional Public Health Inspectorates is a tool for achieving a multiplying and sustainable effect of the Informed and Healthy Project, enabling the messages of the campaign to reach as many people as possible, in particular in smaller settlements. People do show interest in health-related information: the data on adult population’s information needs (Impact Assessment Baseline Study, 2011) indicate that almost 57% of the adult population is interested in health-related information. This is a strong argument in support of the partnership between libraries, as information and communication centers for local communities, and the Regional Public Health Inspectorates.
The partnership between libraries and the Regional Public Health Inspectorates will continue and the PMU will send lists of contact persons from the libraries by districts to the Ministry of Health which, in turn, will inform its Regional Public Health Inspectorates.
The PMU will provide regular information to libraries about newly created health-related content and will provide links, promote partnerships with other institutions and, if needed, provide expert assistance.