The Neonatal Referral System
Kosovo has inadequate maternal and child healthcare and the highest child mortality rates in Europe. A factor that contributes to the high mortality among neonates in Kosovo is a lack of a regional referral system.
Around 300 babies are referred from other cities to Prishtina and are transported through private transportation means. Parents deliver babies to Prishtina using their private cars to seek more specialized treatment. This puts the baby at risk and without qualitative care during transportation baby’s chances of survival minimize.
In 2016 has initated this quality improvement and advocacy program of the neonatal referral system that will help transfer newborns from the regional hospitals to the hospital in Prishtina. The program will save the lives of hundreds of infants that are annually transported from the regional hospitals to Prishtina.
FACT: Approximately 300 babies annually benefit from proper care received during transportation to Prishtina’s main hospital for special care.
Coalition of Organisations on Reproductive Health Rights
Since 2016 we are working on consolidating the efforts of several stakeholders working on reproductive health so that we can advocate for policy changes as a whole.
In the long run, the coalition aims to improve the policy, legal framework and awareness on reproductive health and reproductive health rights in Kosovo through regular evidence-based advocacy work of civil society organizations mobilized as a Coalition. The coalition serves as an independent advocacy and monitoring body on policy and law implementation on reproductive health and reproductive health rights.
In the mid run, the Coalition aims to advocate for increasing the government’s focus towards reproductive health by introducing a budget line for Reproductive Health Commodity Security and monitor the implementation of chances in the Law on Reproductive Health.
FACT: Continued attention to reproductive health and women’s health is a pressing demand because some 350,000 Kosovar women are in their reproductive years. The continuing poor health status of women and children represents a critical barrier to socio-economic development.
Screening for Retinopathy of Prematurity ROP
Through our advocacy efforts, the University Clinical Center in Kosovo (UCCK) has started the screening program for Retinopathy of Prematurity. Retinopathy of Prematurity (also called ROP) is an eye disease that affects many premature babies. Most babies with ROP have a mild case and don’t need treatment. But babies with severe ROP can have vision problems or blindness. Screening for ROP helps early diagnosis and treatment. The screening for ROP is conducted by a specialized ophthalmologist and is done in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where premature babies are treated.
This program is made possible by close cooperation with hospital Kubati which gives us as an in-kind donation the team of specialized volunteer doctors until the end of 2016 who will perform the screening within NICU in UCCK. This program will also build capacities within UCCK, develop the standardized protocols, and advocate to secure the needed equipment.
Our advocacy efforts have made it possible to have the Ministry of Health and UCCK prioritize purchasing the needed equipment for ROP so that the screening protocols continue.
Research and Policy Advocacy Programs
We use results from our research and educational programs to advocate for better health for mothers and children. Our upcoming advocacy program will use results of KoSana Health Dialogue program, funded by Solidar Suisse Kosovo, to have a say in designing health insurance schemes. Kosovo is undergoing a health insurance scheme reform.