European experts adopt declaration on healthy ageing of Roma communities
Due to the harsh socioeconomic and environmental circumstances in which many Roma live, there are disproportionally few among the Roma as compared to non-Roma, who can look forward to old age with good health. “Despite the fact that health inequities between Roma and non-Roma are most accentuated in old age, older Roma are not included in research and policy,” said Dr Piroska Östlin, Programme Manager, Vulnerability and Health Programme, WHO/Europe. The experts recommend, among other things, the removal of administrative, financial and geographical barriers impending access to health services and empowerment of Roma communities to participate in policy developments and their implementation.
Participants of the meeting have visited the Ormánság Health Centre in Sellye, where they met representatives of local civil organizations and community leaders of the region to discuss challenges and opportunities for improving the health status of the Roma population. In the village of Besence, Mr József Igácz, Mayor of Besence, has informed the participants about the activities and efforts of the community to improve the living conditions and health of its mainly Roma population.