The official opening of the renovated children’s units of the Pirogov Hospital in Sofia took place on October 24th. The Bulgarian Ministry of Health provided 2.9 million leva for the overhaul of the children’s units and new medical equipment. Thanks to the “Little Heroes” initiative, which raised 400,000 lv., the children’s units now have a new magical interior.
65 rooms (2270 sq.m.) on the three floors of the building were renovated. As a result, the children’s units in Pirogov became a colorful and friendly space with educational elements in which children can feel special and forget about the medical treatments that they must undergo. WWO Bulgaria also took part in the initiative by setting up Toy Libraries in three units – the Pediatric Traumatology Clinic, Pediatric Thorax Surgery and the Nursing Unit.
The building’s lobby is now equipped with an interactive digital aquarium and the entire first floor is decorated with drawing and games related to the seven seas. Fairytale heroes inhabit the walls of the second floow, while everyday superheroes, such as nurses and doctors, feature on the third floor.
Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, Health Minister Nikolay Petrov and U.S. Ambassador Eric Rubin attended the opening. Lee Skolnick, chief architect of “Muzeiko”, Bulgaria’s first children’s museum, and the architect who designed the interior of the renovated units, also attended the opening. According to Lee Skolnick, the purpose of the renovation was not purely aesthetic. Instead, the architect’s studio aims to help children and their families feel more comfortable and secure in the space. The improvements in the interior aim to reduce the stress that children and their parents are experiencing. Lee Skolinck’s studio has experience with two similar projects with New York hospitals.
Over 3000 children a year have to stay in Pirogov and the “Little Heroes” initiative will improve their hospital stay.