The Fourth International Workshop on Counterterrorism, organized by Medical University – Varna was launched today, 26th June, at "Prof. Dr. Vladimir Ivanov" Hall at UMHAT "St. Marina" – Varna. The workshop was opened by the Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria Ms. Iliana Yotova, the Vice Rector of MU - Varna Prof. Todorka Kostadinova and the Deputy Director of University Hospital "St. Marina" Prof. Dr. Silva Andonova. Greetings to the organizers and participants were addressed by the Ambassador of Israel to Bulgaria H.E. Ms. Irit Lillian, the Ambassador of Bulgaria to Israel H.E. Mr. Dimitar Mihailov, and the Mayor of Varna Mr. Ivan Portnih. For two days participants from 6 countries are going to discuss issues related to the fight against terrorism, the adequate response to a possible terrorist act and the medical assistance to victims.
Iliana Yotova underlined that the specialty of counterterrorism is not only useful but it should be studied as a mandatory subject. "The challenges that we and the whole world confront nowadays have shown that the fight against terrorism cannot be carried out by one country only", said the Vice President.
The Fourth Workshop includes lectures, practical solutions and demonstrative materials, dedicated to conventional, unconventional and medical aspects of terrorism. The lecturers are representatives of leading anti-terrorist institutions in Israel, the Embassy of Israel in Bulgaria, the Embassy of Bulgaria in Israel, as well as recognized specialists from the member-countries of NATO, the Russian Federation and Serbia.
The reason for organizing the first seminar in 2014 was the severe terrorist act at Sarafovo Airport in Burgas, when the question whether our health system was sufficiently prepared for attacks or disasters had arisen. "Then, witnessing the tragedy and taking part in the medical activities, we realized that we were not prepared enough for such situations," said Prof. Krasimir Ivanov, Rector of MU-Varna, and he raised the question of the need of training future doctors how to deal with situations like these straight from the student desks.
MU-Varna, as a modern European educational institution, has already implemented the first one-week course on counter-terrorism in March 2017. It was included as a supplementary programme in the pre-graduate internship of the sixth year students. During this course the intern-doctors, who this year are going to receive their diplomas at MU – Varna, have mastered the knowledge and skills necessary for dealing with critical situations, they have acquired profound knowledge on topics related to medical assistance in the event of major disasters and crises, involving a great number of injured people.
The seminar has a scientific, educational and qualification programme, and it is continuation of the first three specialized meetings in Varna, covering all aspects of terrorism and the fight against it.
The Fourth Workshop will build on the experience and readiness acquired so far to respond to a potential terrorist threat in general, including organization, coordination, theoretical and practical aspects of terrorism in a global format, together with the issues of interaction between international and national institutions as potential participants in counter-terrorism actions.
Among the official guests at the opening were also Sergey Lukyanchuk - Consul General of the Russian Federation in Varna, Krasimir Simov - Honorary Consul of Indonesia, Assoc. Prof. Konstantin Konstantinov - Vice Rector of Shumen University "Episkop Konstantin Preslavski", Dr. Galinka Pavlova - President of BMA, as well as representatives of state and local authorities, military structures, security services, judicial institutions, executive agencies, educational and medical institutions, etc.
A brief retrospection of the first three editions of the seminar:
First International Workshop on Counter-Terrorism - 16 - 19 June 2014
Training of the first specialized teams on conventional and unconventional anti-terrorism and medical aspects of anti-terrorism.
Over 200 participants
Second International Workshop on Counter-Terrorism - 9 - 12 June 2015
Medical response to any type of terrorist threat; Organization and coordination of all working groups; Management of medical and emergency situations; Civil and military assistance to specialized hospitals; Psychological approaches to the population affected; Determining all consequences and damages; Medical and non-medical authorities in full and active coordination; Central, regional and local defense institutions; Bioterrorism, countermeasures, etc.
About 240 participants, including 130 interns and doctors from Varna.
Third International Workshop on Counterterrorism - 7 - 9 June 2016
Coordination and organization of the actions of the various institutions in response to natural disasters, mass disorder and terrorist act.
Over 270 participants – members of Parliament and representatives of the Council of Ministers, the Ministries of Interior, Justice, Transport, Information Technology and Communications, foreign guests from Serbia, Montenegro, Greece and Turkey, NGO representatives, BRC, regional administrations, municipalities, medical institutions, higher educational institutions and other institutions as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students, and lecturers from Medical University - Varna.