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Association 'Women without Osteoporosis'

WOD’02 in Bulgaria reached thousands of people and showed serious cases of undiagnosed osteoporosis

The Bulgarian association "Women without Osteoporosis" organized a series of events for the occasion of WOD'02.

On October 15, 2002, a press conference of the association jointly with the Capital Hygiene Epidemiological Inspectorate was carried out. Attention was paid to the activities carried out by the association during the past year and the forthcoming demands on its part to the National Health-Insurance Bank concerning enhanced reimbursement of the medication and bone density examinations needed.
Ms Tamara Kovatcheva, Chairwoman of"Women without Osteoporosis" spoke on behalf of the association. Plamen Popivanov, expert advisor to the association, spoke before the journalists about the preparation of the National Program for prophylaxis and treatment of osteoporosis. Masha Gavrailova, deputy director of the Capital Hygiene Epidemiological Inspectorate, spoke about the participation of Bulgaria in the WOD'02 theme "Invest in your bones". It was revealed that the specialists of the Inspectorate at their immediate work as methodologists of the school medical staff have many difficulties in realization of their activity because of unspecified joint programs between the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education.
At the press conference the representatives of the Bulgarian Milk Company "LB Bulgaricum" Irina Shishkova and Kalinka Pashova were also present. They represented to the journalists their series of milk-products enriched with calcium. They had prepared a special surprise for the presentation - a beautiful musical clip of the company, in which their director Svetoslav Dimitrov was performing the sole singing part.

The press conference was widely reflected in the media and the participating specialists gave a series of interviews in the live transmissions next days.
The following event, devoted to October 20, 2002, was the opening of an exhibition for foods, food additives, auxiliary and measuring means, organized by the association "Women without Osteoporosis" together with the program "Health in air" of Bulgarian National Radio and the National Center of Hygiene, Medical Ecology and Nutrition (NCHMEN). At the opening on October 17, official persons from the Ministry of Health, many guests and journalists were present. For the first time, a fashion review of author's clothes for women with osteoporosis was demonstrated. The clothing, developed specially for the event, was created by the designer Veneta Atanassova in cooperation with "Women without Osteoporosis". During the three days of the exhibition, the companies "LB Bulgaricum", "Boyana Import Export",
"Schmidt N", "Neways" , "Advance Pharma" etc. represented their products to the public from all over the country. The visitors had the opportunity to be acquainted with useful bone health foods and additives, as well as to see sporting and measuring apparatus. During the exhibition, five devices for examination of bone density were working for members and guests of association "Women without Osteoporosis" – two of the type "DEXA" and three ultrasound ones.
The numerous interviews with participants, the direct transmissions and reportages on National TV, National Radio and dailies such as the newspaper "24 Hours", newspaper "Trud" etc. brought a lot of people from the whole country to the exhibition, which continued till October 19. The exclusive interest in the bone density examinations showed that still a very little part of Bulgarian population is covered from the measures for early detection of osteoporosis and the timely prophylaxis and treatment of the disease is affordable to only a limited number of people. For this reason, during the October 18th National Workshop for the leaders of sections and groups of association "Women without Osteoporosis" with one voice was taken the following decision:
The association "Women without Osteoporosis" is to address a petition to the National Health-Insurance Bank for:
- Increase of the existing reimbursement of the medicaments from 50% to 75%;
- Free treatment of patients having one or more osteoporotic fractures;
- Free osteometric measurement of the bone density of women over 60 years.
Bulgarian public appreciates highly the exclusive attention, with which the Presidency and the Council of Ministers behaved to the messages of European Community from the press conference on December 4, 2001, as well as the subsequent real steps for limitation of the disease on the part of the Ministry of Health and the National Health-Insurance Bank. However, because of the extremely low socioeconomic status of the population and the broad incidence of the risk factors (smoking, immobility, irregular nutrition etc.) further action is necessary.
The three-day events were completed with a patient meeting in the ceremonial hall of the National Center of Hygiene, Medical Ecology and Nutrition.
The celebration of WOD'02, organized from association "Women without Osteoporosis", was carried out by the kind support of the pharmaceutical company "MERCK SHARP & DOHME" as general sponsor and the National Center of Hygiene, Medical Ecology and Nutrition.


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