of pregnancies are aborted
Roma people are living in Nadezhda ghetto
of Roma people have no social protection
For the last five years, Bulgaria has been caught in the grips of an economic and political crisis. In a country with death-in-childbirth and abortion rates twice as high as elsewhere in Europe (almost a third of pregnancies end in abortion in Bulgaria), this crisis is heightening the vulnerability of the most marginalised groups.
The abortion rate is twice as high as elsewhere in Europe.
In Sliven’s Nadezhda ghetto, access to health care is particularly difficult for people from the Roma community, marginalised and living in conditions of extreme vulnerability. 77% of them have no social protection. In 2014, 185 young girls between 12 and 17 years of age gave birth at Sliven hospital. Although abortion is legal in Bulgaria, it is still expensive and, like contraception, is out of reach for most of Nadezhda’s population.
Doctors of the World has been working in the ghetto since 2004. We now run a youth information and counselling centre that focuses on sexual and reproductive health. People visiting the centre are taught about family planning and their right to access public health services, and can also obtain modern birth control methods (IUD, pill, condoms) free of charge. Our purpose is also to get families out of the ghetto for gynaecology and family planning consultations in town. People from other poor villages in the surrounding area can also attend the centre for counselling and support.
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