Outreach Programme in Blagoevgrad Province 2020
What is M.S.O.M.?
Medical Students On a Mission (M.S.O.M.) is a non-governmental student led organization that is based on the fundamentals that align with the medical sciences. Our mission at M.S.O.M is to reach communities that do not have easy access to healthcare and educate those people to make positive changes that will lead to long term health improvements.
In line with our ethos, we organized a screening camp that took place from 28th February to 1st March 2020 in Sandanski and Petrich, located in the Blagoevgrad Province of Southern Bulgaria. The 22 international medical students that participated in the camp were from the Medical Universities of Plovdiv, Sofia and Pleven.
We examined the people from that region for any irregularities or hematological pathologies under the guidance of Dr. Atanas Banchev, a leading specialist in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at ‘Tsaritsa Yoanna Hospital – ISUL’ in Sofia and Dr. Ivo Sirakov, a specialist in Microbiology and Assistant Professor at Sofia Medical University.
The M.S.O.M. volunteers utilized their medical training to provide free check-ups where each visitor had a thorough history taken, a physical examination, blood pressure measurements and a phlebotomy.
Throughout the course of the first day, we screened 80 people in MBAL ‘Sveti Vrach’ Hospital in Sandanski and MBAL ‘Yugozapadna’ Hospital in Petrich, of which 18 people needed a further referral.
“This was an incredible experience. The community welcomed us so warmly with chocolates and preserved figs to name a few and being interviewed by the local news station as well was surreal! This wonderful journey really reaffirmed why I chose this career path and put the endgame in sight – to see the delight on their faces was a highlight. It was truly gratifying to give back to the country that gave us this opportunity. To the gentleman who said I’ll make a great doctor one day, thank you. I will never forget.”
For our volunteers, this is a camp that will not be easily forgotten. The residents of Blagoevgrad welcomed us with such warmth and openness that we had a much harder time leaving than we could have anticipated.
M.S.O.M. have conducted various camps, including an oncology hematology camp led by Dr. Elina Beleva from MU – Plovdiv, where students had the opportunity to present their research at the European Students Conference 2019 in Berlin, an annual diabetes camp in Trud, as well as 3 international camps in Nepal.
Bulgaria is at the heart of our foundation and we will always be committed to reaching as many of its citizens as we can.
We would like to offer our sincere thanks to all those involved in bringing this camp to fruition:
Our Rector – Prof. Marianna Murdjeva, MD, PhD, MHM; Dr. Atanas Banchev, MD; Dr. Ivo Sirakov, PhD, VMD; Mr. Atanas Stoyanov (Mayor of Sandanski); Mr. Pancho Panchev (Secretary of Sandanski Municipality); Dr. Tonev, MD (Head of Sandanski Hospital); Mr. Dimitar Brushkov (Mayor of Petrich); Ms. Nina Popova; Mr. Stefan Petrov; Ms. Vasilka Nikolova and Mr. Georgi Petrov.
We would also like to thank Vice-rector Prof. Blagoi Marinov, MD, PhD; Dr. Peter Dimov, MD at MU Plovdiv, Dr. Velizarova (Clinical Labs); Dr. Tsvetkova and Dr. Raykovska (Hematology) at Alexandrovska Hospital, Sofia as well as Dr. Todorieva (Pleven); M.S.O.M. Academia and all the medical students involved in training of the volunteers and a special thank you to all those who donated to this cause.
Are you a student or doctor interested in what we do? Contact us via: [email protected]
For more information about M.S.O.M. visit us at
Written by: Nesrin Altonchi, Nicky Pham and Eman Adam
M.S.O.M. Plovdiv Public Relations team