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Medical University of Varna trains the first specialized teams in anti-terrorism in Bulgaria

The First International Workshop in Anti-terrorism in our country, organized by the Medical University of Varna jointly with the Embassy of Israel in Bulgaria, was opened today, June 16th 2014 in the sea capital, by Prof. Dr. Krasimir Ivanov and the Ambassador of Israel H. E. Shaul Kamisa-Raz. Lecturers and consultants of this unique event are 7 leading specialists from Israel, among whom Boaz Ganor - Executive director of the specialized Institute for Counter-terrorism in Herzliya (Israel) and Eitan Azani - Deputy Director of the Institute. Five heads of medical counter-terrorism units from the University hospitals "Hadassah" in Jerusalem and "Rambam" in Haifa are also among the lecturers.

The first specialized teams in anti-terrorism in Bulgaria will be trained in conventional and non-conventional anti-terrorism and the medical aspects of anti-terrorism during the seminar. This became evident at the press conference held today in Varna University Hospital with the initiators of the event – the Medical University and the Israeli Embassy.

"It is of utmost importance that the training in anti-terrorism starts as early as possible, still in school and then in the university as we are planning to do in the nearest future. But it is even more important that if this initiative is to be successful it has to involve all the institutions in the country", the Rector of the Varna Medical University Prof. Dr. Krasimir Ivanov declared at the press conference. "The initiative we are launching, starting today with this workshop, is welcomed and supported by the institutions and the state authorities which is a clear sign that there is already a perceived need for this kind of training."

The inclusion of complex topics in anti-terrorism in the curricula of the Medical University is envisaged in the near future with an emphasis on the medical aspects. This will contribute to the broadening of the educational product offered by the medical higher school both in the pre-clinical and the continuing postgraduate training.

The Ambassador of Israel H. E. Shaul Kamisa-Raz expressed his belief that such an initiative will be an important step toward the future security of our country.

The Executive director of the specialized Institute for Counter-terrorism in Herzliya also shared the stand that the best and most adequate actions countering terrorism can take place only if there is an interaction between the institutions and the business not only at national but also at international level.

During the four-day seminar (16-19 June), the teams will be prepared, including experts from various institutions and medical specialists, who will be able to conduct short-term trainings in anti-terrorism throughout the country. The training of the specialized teams will be able to provide adequate coordination, collaboration and interaction between the different units and institutions in Bulgaria, having a direct relation to the increasingly burning problem of terrorist threats becoming more and more frequent worldwide.

Scientific and practical sessions are planned to be held during the seminar with reviewing lectures on the topic, demonstration video materials, training modules, qualification training and round tables. At the end of the event, certificates will be awarded for participation and qualification.

Chairmen of the Organizing Committee are the Rector of the Varna Medical University Prof. Dr. Krasimir Ivanov and H. E. the Ambassador of Israel Shaul Kamisa-Raz. Greeting addresses for the opening of the workshop were received from the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rossen Plevneliev, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski and the Minister of the Interior Tsvetlin Yovchev.

The initiative of the Medical University of Varna and the Embassy of Israel in Bulgaria for the organization of such a workshop was in response to the tragic terrorist act at Burgas airport 2 years ago, during which 7 people died and 35 were injured.