Following the 1989 overthrow of the communist regime, much of Romania’s public health system deteriorated due to insufficient resources and support, leading to large gaps in health care coverage. This situation had particularly negative consequences for urban and rural poor as well as marginalized populations such as the Roma. Subsequently, rates of communicable diseases such as tuberculosis (TB) reached alarming levels throughout Romania, leading to one of the highest TB rates in Europe.
From 2003 to 2007, HealthRight International implemented a TB control program in partnership with Romania’s National TB Program, addressing the needs of the most hard-to-reach and vulnerable groups. HealthRight programs improved both access to and quality of care, raised awareness through national and local media campaigns, and created a national TB education strategy. Outreach in Roma communities also focused on training Peer Health Educators (PHEs) and leading advocacy activities with local and national health authorities.