European symposium on healthy ageing of Roma communities

27–29 October 2014, Pécs, Hungary

The University of Pécs Medical School, in partnership with WHO/Europe and in coordination with the WHO Country Office, Hungary, will hold a European symposium of experts: “Healthy Ageing in Roma Communities: Endowers – Realities – Perspectives”.


The symposium is intended to provide a scientific forum in which participants can exchange experience with promoting the health of Roma populations at the community level. Discussion will take place in the context of:

  • the new European policy framework for health and well-being, Health 2020, in general and particularly one of its main strategic objectives, the reduction of health inequalities; and
  • the European Commission’s European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing.

The conclusions drawn will contribute to the development of policy tools for age-friendly environments in Europe (AFEE), a joint project of WHO/Europe and the European Commission.

During the symposium, participants will visit the Ormánság Health Centre and meet representatives of local Roma communities. The Centre is located in south-western Hungary, which has several settlements with Roma inhabitants in the majority.

The event is sponsored by the Hungarian State Secretariat for Social Affairs and Social Inclusion in the Ministry of Human Resources.


Across the WHO European Region, most Roma people face gross inequities in health and health care. Evidence shows poorer health and higher rates of illness and mortality among Roma than in majority populations. Poverty, segregation and communication barriers have been documented as the main factors preventing Roma from equitable access to health care and enforcement of their right to health. This situation is observed in both individuals and communities.