Конференция Сърдечно-съдовото здраве в Европа

Cardiovascular health in Europe: Challenges and perspectives

/28 March, 10:00 - 12:45, EC Representation in Sofia/


    The conference was organized at the initiative of the Society of Cardiologists in Bulgaria as an engine of the National Alliance for Cardiovascular Health, which was established on December 15 last year, together with 61 organizations. The event was hosted by the European Commission Representation in Sofia. The initiative was built in close cooperation with the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium and personally Ambassador Frédéric Morris. 

    Greetings were delivered by Mariya Gabriel, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria, Stella Kyriakidou, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety (video address) and H.E. Dr. Miklós Borós, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Hungary in Sofia.

    The first panel of the conference was entitled "Strengthening the EU's Social and Health Agenda: Cardiovascular Health Development and Prospects for the Future".

    The moderator of this panel, Assoc. Vasil Traykov provided the word consecutively to the participants, highlights of the speeches of which we offer to your attention:

    Andrey Kovachev, MEP: The EPP, as a European political force, adopted a pre-election manifesto with which it perceives cardiovascular health as a priority and announces its choice to work in the next composition of the European Commission to develop and implement a working policy at European level.

    Stefan Achenbach, former President of the European Society of Cardiology (2020-2022): At European level, we are convinced that we have the tools to solve the problem – premature death caused by cardiovascular diseases. The problem is that we fail to implement it. The reason for this is that we are lagging behind in prevention. Prevention, understood as directed and individualized work with the potentially endangered, with groups at risk. This needs to be organized and implemented in order to be able to apply all modern tools for risk factor control, anticipatory treatment, personalized medicine, etc. This would really move us forward towards the goal.

    Maria da Graça Carvalho, Member of the European Parliament (videoconferencing): In Portugal, there is a National Plan through which we have managed the progression of cases and are currently concentrating on the consequences of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases, in ensuring a better quality of life. The basis of the success of the plan is changing the standards for salt intake, controlling hypertension and providing access to sports activities for the widest possible range of users of different ages.

    Dr. Ernst Ritzschel - Head of the Clinic of Biobanking and Cardiovascular Epidemiology, University of Ghent: The key to solving the problem of "cardiovascular health" is rooted in the upbringing of children. It is necessary to pay serious and special attention to the creation of healthy lifestyle habits among adolescents. This struggle is not only about getting harmful foods out of their menu in one way or another, it is a purposeful, protracted battle for a complete change of worldview. To educate today's children to live a healthy life means to create tomorrow conscious and correct users of the health system. Those who have not only good health status, but also self-awareness to alert in time about suspicious changes in their body, giving a chance to modern medicine to intervene categorically and successfully.

    Dorina Dobreva, President of the Association for Stroke and Aphasia, welcomed the forum and its guests and drew attention to the efforts of Bulgaria to create a National Alliance for Cardiovascular Health (a fact from the end of last year). She reminded that the formation of cardiovascular health is a goal addressed to a wide range of participants, to society as a whole. Gives hope for success the wide format of the participants in the alliance, given the enormous importance of the goal set*.

    The moderator, Assoc. Traykov summarized the statements of the panel bringing to the fore the word "Collaboration" as a key element for success.


    "Cardiovascular Health in Bulgaria: How to Turn Challenges into Opportunities to Provide Better Healthcare to Bulgarian Citizens" was the title of the second panel of the conference. It was moderated by Dr. Madzharov, Chairman of the Bulgarian Medical Association, who showed active commitment to the topic.

    The Panel opened with a speech Assoc. Traykov, who summarized what has been achieved so far through the eyes of the experts and appealed to the other participants to share their points of view. We present brief highlights from the subsequent speeches:

    Prof. Dr. Hristo Hinkov, Minister of Health of Bulgaria: Bulgarians do not want to change their habits and resist changes in their lifestyle. Sharing what was said in the previous panel, one can perceive the thesis of the school as a special area of health and from there to approach anyone who threatens the fulfillment of this goal factor. 

    Citing a recent study, prof. Hinkov reminded that 80% of everyone's health status depends on everyone's personal attitude to their own health, only 10% is the share of the health system.

    -We expect approval to amend the plan for the establishment of 10 stroke centers, said prof. Hinkov, Minister of Health of the Republic of Bulgaria. The correction will allow the creation of a total of 17 centers with better distribution and coverage of the country. 7 of them will be high-tech, offering all types of modern treatment, and will also produce staff. The rest will be more flexible and will work in collaboration, providing access to modern treatment for a larger part of the population.

    Prof. Todorka Kostadinova, Director of Accreditation, Quality and Project Activities, Medical University – Varna; Member of the Board of Directors of the European Health Management Association: There are programs available to apply foreign experience, especially in the field of patient follow-up after the acute phase.

    The participants in the conference had the opportunity to get acquainted with the Manifesto for Stroke Survivors of the European Stroke Organization, the European Patient Organization and the Stroke and Aphasia Association. The manifesto is addressed to the political forces competing for seats in the European Parliament in the elections in July this year https://stroke.bg/a-manifesto-for-stroke-survivors_bg.



* Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death and disability in the country, 80% of which are stroke. Referred to $100,000. inhabitants, the number of incidents per year is more than 900, which is 8 times the European average. – B.A.