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The Association of Schools of Publich 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.
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First Congress on Occupational Health and Employability Expertise with an International Conference on EPSILON project, 07 - 08 November, 2018, Sofia
When: 7 Nov 2018 - 8 Nov 2018
Organiser: The Faculty of Public Health at the Medical University Sofia
Contact: badtm2014@abv.bg

The Faculty of Public Health at the Medical University Sofia is organizing the

First Congress on Occupational Health and Employability Expertise with an International Conference on EPSILON project, 07 - 08 November, 2018, Sofia

The Purpose of the Congress is to ensure health and sustainable employability through academic training, legislative changes based on scientific evidence and activities on chronic and occupational disease prevention, for health promotion, innovative practices and prevention of the youngest and older workers, for helping people on light duty and disabled people responding the challenges of the changing workforce as well as its social protection and security.

During the congress the results of an international EC funded project will be presented. The leader of the project- the vice dean of the Faculty prof. Karolina Lyubomirova share information:

EPSILON project, European Partnerships for Prevention and Social Innovations for Physicians through Training and Science (BG05M9OP001-4.001-0019-C01), funded under the Operational Program "Human Resources Development", as a modern model for training and science for physicians with practical application in Occupational Medicine

Within the framework of the project, the Faculty of Public Health together with the partnership of the University of Milan identified and transferred the following 3 innovative practices aimed at improving employability and actively involving eligible and clearly defined target groups of children and adults at risk.

  1. The first innovative practice is a training course for the prevention and management of socially significant, non-communicable and work-related diseases of young and adults at risk. This course focuses on health managers, employers, managers and hospital directors. The course is process-oriented - new approaches and methods for the prevention and management of socially significant and work-related illnesses, both at the level of healthcare institutions and at the level of future healthcare policies. The innovations of the training course are also oriented towards goals, as it is directed at managers and managers in health service providers, which is not currently the focus of the training programs of Medical University - Sofia. The curriculum focuses on the most vulnerable groups associated with this type of diseases - young workers up to 25 and older workers over 54.
  2. The second innovative practice is a training course for the prevention of non-communicable and work-related diseases typical of young and older workers at risk, aimed at physicians, providing annual and preliminary medical examinations at work. Currently, this issue is part of Occupational medicine specialists 'and Occupational medicine and work ability masters' programs. However, physicians who have completed their higher education and have acquired various specialties are not systematically covered by such continuing education.
  3. The 3rd Innovative Practice is an Integrated National Information Education Campaign for enhancing the health literacy of target groups of young and adults at risk and promoting a healthy lifestyle and work. The campaign envisages the implementation of a set of integrated measures to improve the employability of young and adults at risk.

The Innovative practice includes the Integrated Information Education Campaign to increase the health literacy of target groups of young and adults at risk and promotion of a healthy lifestyle and work. Within the framework of the Campaign there were developed Manuals for the prevention of occupational and work-related diseases of workers in four of the most risky and widespread economic activities in Bulgaria - healthcare, construction, clothing, hairdressing and cosmetics. The handbooks were distributed among students from the respective vocational high schools because learning about a healthy lifestyle and safe work among young people at the beginning of their working life is crucial for preventing occupational and non-communicable diseases at a later age.

Lectures and seminars were delivered to the students from the respective vocational high schools, where they were acquainted with the hazards at work and the ways to protect from non-communicable and work-related diseases.

The Project EPSILON allowed comparing the health status of young (up to 25) and elder workers (over 55 years old) in four economic sectors. In order to organize screening check-ups, a refractometer, an electrocardiograph, and a multifunctional lab analyzer were purchased. Fasting plasma glucose and serum lipids (HDL, LDL, triglycerides) were analyzed. An electrocardiography was made, as well as a survey with specially developed questionnaires containing the validated questionnaire on the ten-year risk of developing Type 2 diabetes mellitus – FINDRISK and all the necessary data for calculating cardiovascular risk through SCORE. The subjective assessment of the level of the professional stress, professional satisfaction and mental state was made.

Analysis of the survey results has identified persons at increased risk of work-related and socially significant, non-communicable diseases and the statistically significant relationships between the disease onset and risk factors at work and lifestyle.

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