Dr. Malina Stancheva is our pediatrician who is taking care for children’s health in our “Children’s House”. For more than three years, she has been with us in the care of the youngest, who gives her love and attention. Infinitely dedicated as a doctor, ready to come to the rescue at any time of the day, she is not only a doctor, but also a friend of the children, who closely monitors and supports their development.
Despite pediatrician, she is also pediatric neurologist with over 15 years of experience. She specializes in university children’s clinics in Paris, France and Leuven, Belgium. Dr. Malina Stancheva is author of 27 scientific publications in collections in Bulgarian and international medical periodicals in the field of children’s diseases of metabolism, clinical genetics, pediatric endocrinology and pediatric neurology.
We are talking to Dr. Stancheva about the challenges of the profession, about her motivation to support the foundation.
Dr. Stancheva, you are the children’s personal physician in our Children’s House from 2017, what motivates you to do this?
As a pediatrician and pediatric neurologist, I have always strived to do my best to treat and track children’s development, whether they are healthy or with special needs, regardless of their ethnic background or their parents’ social situation. In my work, I have always strived for continuous self-improvement, mastering new skills and maintaining a modern level of my knowledge.
My partnership with Foundation “For Our Children” started during the deinstitutionalization process. We worked together to create a Center for Social Health Services for children from 0 to 3 years and their families “St. Constantine and Helena”. This gave me the opportunity to get a true and realistic view of the social problems of children with special needs and from minority groups not only from Sofia, but from all over the country. The trainings conducted by psychologists, social workers and the acquired experience immensely enriched not only my medical practice, but also my mentality.
That is why, when in 2017 as a pediatrician at Medical Center “Mediva” I received a proposal from Foundation “For Our Children” to carry out the medical supervision of children from “Children’s House” (another major significant project of the foundation), I accepted with great joy and as an expression of recognition and trust to our medical center. It was a challenge for us to create a successful model of partnership between “Children’s House” and “Mediva” Medc, where children receive timely pediatric assistance and consultation with specialists, the possibility of conducting physiotherapy and motor rehabilitation.
Tell me a little more about your work as a pediatrician in Children’s House.
As a result of the three-year cooperation and the efforts made so far, apart from the children who have had to undergo motor rehabilitation, we have not had any identified cases of hospitalized children, single ones are those of requested ambulance and emergency medical care. We also provided cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, which readily donated to the children in “Children’s House” baby food and drugs, also some of the parents of our patients supported the children with clothes and toys, as well as participated in other social projects of the foundation, for which we truly thankful.
What brings you the work with children?
Visits to Children’s House bring me joy and satisfaction. One of the important conclusions that “Children’s House” has imposed is that the model of deinstitutionalization works. Under the maternal care of the babysitters, supported by other specialists, psychologists, social workers and volunteers, the children grew without the need for constant presence and supervision by medical staff, allowing them to be raised in an environment close to the family, where they were cared for and raised with love and devotion.
The majority of children after returning to their biological families, or after their adoption, remain our patients, which is a great joy and pride for us, and is indicative of the parents’ trust in the “For our Children” Foundation. Parents of children outside Sofia are looking again for our competent assistance when the child is in need. I am under the impression that children remember the relationships created in early childhood with the supervising doctor, feel trust in me and perceive me as a link between their past and future.
Every child has a childhood dream – what will be when grows up? What was your childhood dream?
My childhood dream has always been to be a doctor and help people! This love for the profession I inherited from my mother Dr. Brigitta Radeva, Ph.D., pediatrician at SBALDB “Prof. Dr.Sc.(Econ.) Ivan Mitev”, and my grandfather – Assoc. Dr. Ivan Radev, formerly known infectious diseases and national consultant in infectious diseases.