How Jefferson Expertise Benefits Romania
Lance L. Simpson, PhD, director of Jefferson's international program with Romania, summarizes the benefits to Romanian health care made possible by USAID funding and Jefferson's expertise:
* Education materials Jefferson presented to the Romanians textbooks and reference materials relevant to project needs, covering such topics as occupational and environmental medicine, toxicology, industrial hygiene, nursing and pulmonary issues. Current books on these topics don't exist in Romania, Dr. Simpson points out.
* Workplace materials Practical items for workplace use (some discardable, some reusable), mainly to improve safety, including face masks, safety goggles, and gowns and gloves for handling hazardous substances. Since factories in Romania are not subject to meeting the same clean air standards as in the U.S., protection from industrial emissions is less than desirable for both workers and citizens living near factories, explains Dr. Simpson.
* Pulmonary function devices Three computer-assisted machines permit lung function testing or spirometry to be performed at the same technological level as in the U.S. This is important because occupational lung disease is "an enormous problem" in Romania, says Dr. Simpson, again because of the lack of industrial health standards.
* EPA special training courses Jefferson asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide special training courses in Philadelphia and New Jersey for visiting Romanians. They received training as Hazardous Waste Responders, personnel who intervene on-site at spills of toxic substances.
* Tailored instructions Jeffersonians' firsthand knowledge of the specific nature of environmental and worksite hazards from visiting Romania permitted tailoring instruction to specific needs. A typical visiting group of five to 10 Romanians received two weeks of tailored instruction at Jefferson in such topics as occupational lung disease, toxicology, environmental medicine, industrial hygiene and problem-solving leadership skills.
* Intense on-site study Jeffersonians' lectures at Romanian sites always targeted the specific health need requested by Romanian hosts to help solve problem areas such as workplace infections.
* Presentation and publication skills In co-sponsoring two major conferences, Jeffersonians helped Romanian colleagues plan, present, chair and publish for national and international participants.
* Computer and World Wide Web expertise Romanians received training and a substantial amount of hardware and software, including computers, printers, fax machines, as well as World Wide Web and email capabilities.