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Grayson Mendenhall
November 10, 2014

Moldova map
Moldova is a country in Eastern Europe located between Romania to its west and Ukraine to its north, east, and south.

Igor Munteanu, the Moldovan ambassador to America, spoke on the current state and possible future of Moldova during a presentation to UNC students last Wednesday at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Munteanu presented an image of Moldova that was united with European Union in his talk at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

“Integration with the European Union is one of the most important aims in Moldova,” Munteanu says. “We believe we will be successful.”

Munteanu says that Moldova has made substantial efforts in the past ten years to catch up to European standards. Moldova has pre-emptively created policies and legislation that line up with EU standards in order to gather support for their application, he says.

Munteanu says he believes those efforts have been successful, and that Moldova has reached “the point of no return” in its journey towards EU membership.

After his presentation, the ambassador met with UNC students and other diplomats to discuss opportunities for collaboration.

Members of the lunch agreed to continue to explore areas of shared interest like public health, said David Steeb, PharmD, global engagement fellow for UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Steeb attended the lunch with the ambassador and helped organize his visit to the School.

Munteanu says he hopes that the partnership between North Carolina and Moldova will continue in the future.

“Many students at UNC have visited Moldova, this is a best practice that we wish to continue,” Munteanu says.

UNC and Moldova

North Carolina has been a partner of Moldova since 1999 as a part of the National Guard State Partnership program. State partnerships with independent countries began after the fall of the Soviet Union to help build self-sustaining governments, Steeb says. While North Carolina’s partnership with Moldova began as capacity building within military and security, it has since expanded into many other areas such as health care and economics, he says.

“We have one of the most progressive state partnerships with a foreign country,” Steeb says.

UNC schools became involved in the outreach to help Moldova with public-health issues in 2000 when the School of Dentistry sent four dentists to provide free medical care to underprivileged areas. Since then, there has been a regular exchange of students between Moldova and UNC schools.

Health care is now a collaborative focus between UNC and Moldova, Steeb says.

Dozens of students from the pharmacy school, dentistry school and UNC Gillings School of Global Public health have visited Moldova to provide health aid.

  • Public health sent students to improve water and health education, increase disaster awareness in the Black Sea area, and give lectures on improving quality of care in hospitals.
  • Dentistry has been involved in student exchanges between both countries and has provided training and services for the dental school in Moldova.
  • The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy sent a delegation to Moldova to assess pharmacy practices and identify areas where the school could provide aid or resources.
  • UNC has also hosted three delegations of new Moldovan parliament members to learn about the NC-Moldavia partnership from UNC faculty.

By Aren Besson

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