On 16, 17 and 18 December 2004 the first symposium of the Bulgarian Sterile Supply Association (BulSteri) took place in Park Hotel Moskwa in Sofia. The society was only recently established, namely on 3 September 2004 and already organized its first congress barely three months later.
The unpleasant weather could not keep more than 300 participants, an unexpectedly high number, from attending. Also the minister and the vice-minister of Health were present at the opening session on Thursday evening.
Prof. Dr Kochucharova, president of the society, welcomed the participants and introduced the different speakers. In his speech minister Bogoev pointed to the importance of a realistic approach of the problem of nosocomial infections and the prominent role, which can be played by the CSSD in their prevention.
Wim Renders, president of the EFHSS, welcomed BulSteri as the youngest member of the EFHSS family. According to him the establishment of a national society is very important as it can act as an intermediary in the transfer of knowledge, thereby ensuring that the development of the CSSD is speeded up. Moreover, as a representative body, it can be a partner of the authorities with the result that not only the drawing up of guidelines is facilitated but that also their imposition can be guaranteed.
The EFHSS can offer a frame of reference to situate the local CSSDs within Europe. This is very important in order to stimulate and motivate processes of change.
He also expressed the hope that the EFHSS would make a contribution to the integration of the Bulgarian CSSDs in the European Union. He ended his speech by saying that most of the people present could possibly only dream of a state-of-the-art sterilization department. Realizing this dream can only happen by taking small steps and with the means put at one's disposal. But with limited means, a lot can already be achieved. He called on the audience to take up the challenge and to resolutely choose for change.
Dr Rastislav Madar (Slovakia) described the importance of the EFHSS for a national society.
The scientific papers were delivered, with a few exceptions, by representatives of different companies. They provided an informative overview of the various aspects of the activities in the sterilization department. Attention was paid to amongst others manual cleaning, controlling devices, e-learning and finally the validation of steam sterilisers.
During the gala dinner, to which a Bulgarian choir added lustre, the first Bulgarian certificates of CSSD manager were handed out and the poster prize was presented. The latter was awarded to Rlka Shishmanonva. The laureate provided, in a very original graphic presentation, a totally new approach to a quality system. She more than deserved her award.
During the closing ceremony Toni Zanette thanked all participants for their contribution to the successful symposium and expressed the hope of seeing everyone again in the course of 2005.
Brugge, 20 January 2005