by improving education and training
of public health professionals
for both practice and research
The Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER)ASPHER is the key independent European organisation dedicated to strengthening the role of public health by improving education and training of public health professionals for both practice and research.
Member's blog - Projects
THIS IS PUBLIC HEALTH Bulgarian Campaign – EUPHATIC Project
Author: Sofia Public Health
The “European Public Health Activities in Training and Increasing Capacity“ project of the Faculty of Public Health aims to promote Public Health science and its importance while motivating youngsters to study a Public Health degree. The target audience of the project included 1000 high school students, 10,000 students from the Medical University-Sofia and citizen groups of Sofia. The strategies that were used as methods were lectures, round tables, a sport event, student exhibitions and media participation. The team collaborated with the Student Union of the Medical University-Sofia and the Association of the Bulgarian Medical Students for organizing lectures, meetings with public health students, the sport campaign in Sofia, and distribution of promotional materials.
The evaluation process included planning, implementation of the campaigns, completion, and dissemination and reporting through surveys (anonymous questionnaires among the students). The project was successfully performed and implemented with our target audience. During the project period we organized several events, described below which were planned for the period October 2019 - September 2020. Due to the pandemic situation worldwide, our team also organized volunteering events as a part of the project scope.
The Faculty of Public Health is one of the four faculties in the structure of the Medical University-Sofia, Bulgaria and in 2020 we celebrated our 25th anniversary! In our Faculty we educate bachelors in the field of public health and health management, nursing, midwifery, emergency aid assistants and master degrees in over five specialties. Public Health is defined as the science of protecting and improving the health of communities through education, policy making and research for disease and injury prevention. Our participation in the TIPH project gave us the opportunity to address health problems of communities as a whole, and influence policies that affect the health of societies. We were delighted to see increases in the applications and enrolments in the Faculty’s public health programs. This year we have more students applying to the PH bachelor/master programs, as well as higher interest in the PH courses as an impact of our participation in the TIPH project.
The kick-off event of the TIPH Bulgaria Campaign was a “Round Table” involving students from the Medical University-Sofia with lectures by the professors from the Faculty of Public Health on the topics of: Ethics; Bioethics and Health Policy; Sustainable Development Goals as an Innovative Approach to Improving Global Health; Health Insurance; and Digital Approaches in Public Health. The main aim of the event was to share best practices in different learning and teaching methods and discuss public health and health care topics.
Another initiative organized by the Faculty of Public Health TIPH Campaign were Public Health meetings for students in their final year of high school at four schools in Sofia with presentations on different topics concerning the importance of Public Health science.
Prof. Dr Karolina Luybomirova, PhD participated in two interviews in the local news (BNT News and Bulgaria On Air), representing the University and the Faculty and their active participation in the TIPH project as well as how the Institution handles teaching in the current pandemic situation.
During the COVID-19 crisis the Faculty of Public Health’s students participate as volunteers and help the medical staff in the different university hospitals in Sofia in combatting the epidemic. A promotional campaign related to COVID-19 included distribution of masks and face shields with the campaign logo among the students and teachers from the Medical University-Sofia.
The TIPH Bulgaria campaign distributed an online survey “What is Public Health?” in which our students and teachers participated. As an extension of the survey, students from the Medical University-Sofia filmed a short video challenge to the father of medicine – Hippocrates. As you know, the Hippocratic oath is a symbol of ideas – humanity, kindness, devotion, self-sacrifice, honesty and selflessness. This online event organized in the framework of the TIPH project answered the question “What would you tell Hippocrates?”. Another online event in which the students participated was a short essay entitled “Challenges in education during the COVID pandemic”. All the participants received special certificates for their participation.
On the occasion of World Health Day on 7 April 2020, the Faculty of Public Health and the Student Union of Medical University-Sofia organized a TIPH Campaign sport event. The main aim of the event was to promote physical activity among youngsters. With the help of professional coaches our event was dedicated to healthy lifestyle and training programs. A second sport event is planned for 2021 depending on the epidemiological situation. A possible solution will be an outdoor physical activity despite lockdowns. All participants will receive personal sport tasks to complete in order to improve their physical activity, which was more or less interrupted during the two lockdowns in Bulgaria.
The TIPH Bulgaria projects were published in the journal of the Faculty of Public Health, Health Management and Health Policy describing all project activities and events by our team.
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