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Problems in the immunization calendar and style of communication of doctors with patients discussed medics in Veliko Tarnovo

A seminar for general practitioners and specialists from the Regional Health Inspection in the city, which hosted the event, was held at the initiative of the Astra Forum Foundation as part of a national program to increase immunization coverage in Bulgaria.

“There is an easy task ahead of the health care system and all health workers to catch up on the backlog in coverage on bulgaria’s national immunization calendar,” Dr. Momchil Baev, Chairman of the Astra Forum Foundation, said in his welcome address. He added that this is especially important in the context of the huge refugee flow from Ukraine in our country. Currently, nearly 100 000 Ukrainians, including about 40 000 children, are in the country, and the immunization coverage in Ukraine is extremely low. In the autumn, all 40 000 children must go to kindergarten and school, but this cannot be done without receiving all the mandatory vaccines that are also given to Bulgarian children.

The virologist Assc. Lyubomira Nikolaeva-Glomb presented in depth the challenges of immunization coverage in Bulgaria with regard to mandatory vaccines and those against COVID-19. A significant backlog is observed in 2020-21 due to the ongoing more than 2 years of pandemic. She compared the immunization range against coronavirus in Bulgaria and other countries that managed to achieve a range of 50%.

Another focus was on the risk of polio virus in Bulgaria because of the refugee flow from Ukraine to our country. It reported an isolated outbreak of polio virus in two areas of Ukraine in October 2021 and stressed that the presence of polio virus in one place     She recalled that the polio virus lives in wastewater where it can thrive. Three months. There are around two hundred paralyzed children in the world this year because of a polio virus, and two weeks in north-east London, the virus has been found in sewage.

She advised the fellow medics and specialists from the RHI-Veliko Tarnovo to have a sharp attention to all acute paralysis and to examine samples so that not a single case is missed. Applying catch-up immunization to all who missed any of the mandatory vaccines was the recommendation the viral log made to doctors.

In the context of the vacinopreventable diseases, Assc. Glomb In officially, about 40 000 people died from a viral disease that could be prevented by vaccines.

One of the doctors in the audience shared his disappointment that various medical specialties “gave us a good time in terms of COVID-19 vaccines” by giving an example for a patient with varicose veins, sought a narrow specialist in Sofia, who that this condition cannot be vaccinated against coronavirus.

The central theme of the training seminar was how to communicate with their patients who have fluctuations in vaccines. Dr. Kiril Bozgunov, Doctor of Psychology, Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist presented the method of “Motivational Interviewing“, which is known mainly for working with addictions, but the World Health Organization highlights the merits of its approach in the field of vaccine-prophylaxis. By its very nature, going to interview is a conversation about change. When talking to general practitioners, Dr. Bozgunov says that they also complain about the high workload and administrative work they have. which will facilitate the work of the doctor and, which can be administered within 5-10 minutes, which the patient spends in the office anyway.

Dr. Bozgunov told of good examples from different countries where doctors are purposefully trained in motivational interviewing. This has happened even in an emergency room, which is proof that such a skill is for the benefit of various medical professionals. The task of the method is to make the doctor a partner in changing the patient’s health behavior and to help him make the right decision about his health. appointed therapy, but the end result is not present due to the patient’s disbelief and non-participation. Motivational interviewing provides tools for engaging the patient in the process of immunization or treatment.

Dr. Bozgunov advises doctors to ask open instead of closed questions of their patients, thus incentivize them to share more information, then the doctor to apply techniques such as reflection, generalization, etc. relapse to problematic behavior.

The event is part of a national initiative of the Astra Forum Foundation with the support of the America for Bulgaria Foundation, the WHO and UNICEF representations in Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Association of Innovative Medicine, ArFarm and in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the Bulgarian Medical Union, and the National Association of GPs in Bulgaria.

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