The Neonatal Referral System
Kosovo continues to have the highest rate of child mortality in Europe and the inadequate quality of services provided to children. One of the factors affecting a high rate of infant mortality in Kosovo is the lack of a quality transport and referral system in Kosovo.
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.
Since 2016, we are working on improving the quality of services and advocacy toward building a baby transport / referral system from other cities to Prishtina.
In 2017, Action for Mothers and Children, with the technical support of the expert team from the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in the United States, as well as the support of the Ministry of Health in Kosovo, and the Kosovo Clinical Hospital Clinical Service, has enabled the training of medical staff in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UCCK, Prishtina, and in the regional hospitals as in Peja, Gjakova, and Gjilan.
Also, with providing the dedicated transport for infants, in 2018 the piloting of infant transport will begin, becoming the first regional model for an established health care system based on successful international models.
This program saves the lives of hundreds of children each year.
FACT: Around 300 babies benefit annually as a result of the quality health service provided during their transport from any city of Kosovo to Prishtina where more advanced treatment is required.
Coalition of Organisations on Reproductive Health Rights
Since 2016, we are working on consolidating the efforts of some organizations in the field of sexual reproductive health by creating a joint advocacy body that influences the improvement of policies promoting reproductive health rights in Kosovo.
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, named as K10 based on ten basic reproductive health rights 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 K10 intends to advocate with government decision-makers on the importance of budgeting for the spending materials related to reproductive sexual health and to advise the Ministry of Health on the implementation of strategic plan for family planning and promotion of reproductive rights.
Aside from the legal framework regulating sexual reproductive health, K10 aims to monitor policy revisions applicable in line with European Union directives and to be part of relevant committees representing citizens’ rights and informed voice on services and necessary funding for reproductive sexual 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.
The Charity Shop “Teshavesha”
The Charity Shop ‘Teshavesha’ opened on 11 July 2016, has grown steadily thanks to the contribution of our citizens. The model of the shop is such that it invites citizens to donate their clothes that they no longer use, and then sell them at symbolic prices.
Teshavesha’s mission is to raise funds to support the health programs of the Foundation ‘ Action for Mothers and Children’ within the Republic of Kosovo; opening up new jobs for marginalized women; recycling of textile materials and products in Kosovo.
Clothes collected and donated by citizens are organized and sold at symbolic prices by raising funds that support the organization’s programs, such as: supplying UCCK, with medicaments , supplying UCCK with medical equipment , opening of “Women’s Health Information Centers ‘as well as the development of Neonatal Transport in the country.