The Decade of Roma Inclusion is an action undertaken by countries in South-Eastern Europe, including Macedonia, in order to include Roma in society and ensure equality with other residents of the state. The Decade was officially signed by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia in January 2005 where by it committed itself for a period of 10 years, until 2015, to conduct activities and programs targeting the Roma population in order to define the problems of Roma and to take measures for their solution. In this manner it is anticipated that institutions will provide necessary conditions for exercising the rights of the Roma and improving their condition. NGOs for the most part, are involved in the action by playing the role of intermediary between the Roma and institutions. World Bank and Open Society Institute are the main initiators and supporters of the Decade of Roma Inclusion.

The framework of The Decade Action Plans created four areas – health, education, employment and housing. The Action Plan is anticipated to improve the education of Roma students and to increase the number of Roma secondary school and university students, to improve the health condition of the population, to improve living conditions in Roma communities and to increase the number of employed Roma. All these activities are expected to reduce poverty among the Roma and to eradicate discrimination by other ethnic groups. For this purpose each Local Self Government was tasked to create local action plans according to specific needs of the Roma community in each municipality.

The Local Self Government – Bitola in 2006 adopted the Strategy for Roma on the basis of which Local Action Plans were created for all areas of The Decade. The time frame for implementation of these plans referred to the period 2006 – 2010, thus emerged the need for their revision to the period 2011 – 2015.

The project “Improving the Program for Roma Health Mediators” initiated by the Health Education and Research Association – HERA, and implemented by ROMA S.O.S. – Prilep as a regional sub-contractor associate for the municipalities of Prilep and Bitola during the period from November 2010 to November 2011, aimed to create Action Plans that will define local activities targeted towards improving the health of the Roma community in the municipalities of Prilep and Bitola based on the Roma Health Mediators program adopted by the RM in May 2011 by the Ministry of Health.

In Bitola, taking into account the fact that the Action Plan for the Health of Roma in the municipality of Bitola was in need of revision, a seminar was held on 5 and 6 October 2011 at which the activities were reviewed from the existing plan and aligned with current priority needs and problems in the Roma community, in accordance with the Program for RHM.

The following institutions/organizations participated in the process of reviewing and revising the Action Plan:

1. Fund for Health Insurance – Bitola

2. P.H.I. Health centre – Bitola

3. P.H.I. Centre for Public Health – Bitola

4. P.H.I. Clinical Hospital Dr. Trifun Panovksi – Bitola

5. Centre for Employment – Bitola

6. P.I.I. Centre for Social Work – Bitola

7. Local Self Government – Bitola

8. NGO Bairska Svetlana- Bitola

9. Association “Biosphere” – Bitola

 

With the adoption of the Action Plan for the Health of Roma from Bitola by the Council, the Municipality of Bitola will create opportunities for undertaking concrete activities with direct support from the Local Self Government – Bitola aimed at improving the health condition of the Roma community in Bitola.

Along with the adoption of the Action Plan, the Local Self Government – Bitola will assume responsibility for the implementation of local public policy that will allocate financial resources to implement the same activities and will establish coordination between local institutions for achieving the main goal of this plan.

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