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Delegation of the European Union to the Republic Of Serbia
A project funded by the European Union Contract Nº: 2010/258-562 (09SER01/05/11)
Republic of Serbia Ministry of Economy and Regional Development
National Agency for Tourism Development
Project Office: Dr Subotića 5, Institute for Public Health fo Serbia, "Dr Milan Jovanović - Batut", 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Tel: (+ 381) 11 20 62 733, Email: office@screeningserbia.rs
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About the Project

The overall objective of the project „Implementation of the National Screening Programme“is to contribute to the improvement of the health and well-being of the population of Serbia.

The Project aims:

  • To strengthen the organizational and administrative capacities of the Serbian public health system by establishing and operating the national screening body and by training district public health institutes’ staff to participate in the operation of the cancer screening programmes organisation at local level.
  • To strengthen the human resources of the Serbian health care institutions by training key staff participating in the operation of the national cancer screening programmes, namely: radiologists, radiographers, cytotechnicians, cytopathologists, gastroenterologists, and to provide a sound methodological basis for a sustainable training plan, in order to maintain and develop concerned human resources.
  • To increase participation rates in the organised cancer screening programmes by assisting national and regional institutes for public health (training of trainers)  in their efforts to train primary health care professionals on organised cancer screening.
  • To assist Ministry of Health in its future mobilisation campaign intended to motivate the population to participate in organised screening programmes once they are implemented.

Elaboration of national programmes, regulations, policies, standards and guidelines is conducted with the involvement of local experts. Capacity building and knowledge transfer is delivered through both formal and on-the-job training.

The project is funded by the European Union, represented by the EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia, from the EU Instrument for Pre-Accesion Assistance for Serbia. The overall management and implementation of the project is coordinated by the Project Steering Committee (PSC) chaired by the representative of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia. Representatives of institutions which are key project stakeholders participate in the work of PSC. The PSC steers and monitors project implementation and undertakes remedial actions for any problems that may arise. The Project is implemented by the HD – European Consulting Group (Belgrade) in the consortium with Hyman Dynamics (Vienna) and the Institute for Public HeathDr. Andrija Štampar“ (Zagreb).

 

EXPECTED RESULTS

  • Established and operational National body for cancer screening in line with international standards for public health ;
  • Fifty experts from institutes of public health trained in training of physicians in primary health care on the methodology and principles of cancer screening;
  • A comprehensive training curriculum prepared and training delivered to: 80 radiologists, 100 radiographers, 30 cytopatologists, 100 cytotechnicians, 50 gastroenterologists and 80 colonoscopists on the techniques of breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening;
  • Training curricula built into the continuous health education system;
  • Support provided to the Ministry of Health in its public mobilisation campaign in the form of information leaflets for patients and primary heath care staff;
  • A three-year work plan for the National cancer screening body prepared;
  •  

PHASES AND COMPONENTS OF THE PROJECT

The Project is implemented in the period from January 2011 until January 2013.

During the initial three-month Project Inception phase an assessment of the current situation and needs of the beneficiaries is conducted. A desk review of relevant documents is performed and semi-structured interviews are held with key stakeholders. These contacts allow the Project team to better understand Serbian needs and any difficulties that should be addressed by the project.  During this phase, members of Steering committee are appointed and Steering committee starts its work.

Within the Project Component 1, for a period of 6 months, an operational and competent National Cancer Screening facility is established according to international public health standards. During this phase, fifty district public health institute experts are trained in basic epidemiology, principles of screening, methods of organisation, data collection, performance monitoring and evaluation and local mobilization techniques. One part of this component is also a cost-benefit calculation of cancer screening programmes.

Component 2: Development of human resources for cancer screening. Project component 2, of 12 months, is devoted to a compilation of the training course materials consistent with the recommendations and standards set by European practice and guidelines. In this phase, training is delivered for 80 radiologists, 100 radiographers, 30 cytopathologists, 100 cytotechnicians and 50 gastroenterologists in colorectal, cervical and breast cancer screening. The necessary procedure is initiated for integrating the developed curricula into the continual medical education system in line with the existing legislation in the Republic of Serbia.

Component 3 consists in assisting the Ministry of Health in its public awareness raising and mobilisation campaign. This phase is composed of two main tasks: a short training course for selected public health insitute experts on the tasks and techniques of cancer screening programmes, and in the provision of assistance to the Ministry for its mobilization campaign aiming to increase citizens' participation in organised cancer screening programs.

Final phase: During the final three-month phase, the financial sustainability of the National body for cancer screening is evaluated and a three-year operational plan prepared.

 

Sustainability of project results

In order to achieve the sustainability of the project results, long term support of beneficiaries and stakeholders, including the Ministry of Health of Serbia, is of utmost importance. The assumtion is that, by the end of the project, the organisational and human capacity in the district public health institutes needed to organise cancer screening programmes will be in place. This assumption is based on the establishment of the National Cancer Screening facility for and on its central role in the organisation, monitoring and supervision of national cancer screening programmes.

However, the most important assumption for sustainability is the availability of financial resources for continuing the screening programmes over the longer term, and the existence of efficient financing mechanisms which could offer incentives and reward to the providers of cancer screening services.