Medical donations and instruction help reduce newborn death in Macedonia
Macedonia remains one of Europe’s economically struggling countries with inadequate standards in health care. Because of the country’s high infant mortality, Project HOPE e.V. Germany proposed an ambitious project to save newborn lives – particularly among premature babies.
In cooperation with the Macedonian Project HOPE office and the Macedonian Ministry of Health, a selected group of hospitals and gynaecologists are being equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and trained to recognize high-risk pregnancies early in order to improve perinatal care significantly and make the best professional use of the donated equipment.
The goal is to transform the University Children’s Hospital and the Mother Theresa Obstetrics and Gynaecology Hospital in Macedonia’s capital city Skopje into centers of excellence.
“When Project HOPE was first mentioned, no one at our hospital realized this would be the start of a wonderful story and a valuable and long lasting partnership,” says Dr. Skeparoska, a gynaecologist at the Mother Theresa Obstetrics and Gynaecology Hospital. “Here we are, less than a year from the beginning of the project and our ambulance department has already received brand new ultrasounds, much to the satisfaction of patients and the hospital staff caring for them.”
Project HOPE didn’t just give us equipment, but
– as its name says –
it gave us HOPE. Thank you!
Since October 2016 special equipment for perinatal care, including 14 patient monitors, IV pumps, syringe pumps and a mobile digital x-ray machine have already been delivered to selected Macedonian hospitals and the first trainings have taken place. Most recently, four brand new ultrasound units – comprised of three units for obstetrics and one for the perinatal screening of the heart and brain of neonates have been delivered to the Mother Theresa Obstetrics and Gynaecology Hospital.
In addition to the lifesaving donation of medical equipment, the program is also offering specialized training for health care workers who will be using the equipment, starting with tertiary care and working down to secondary and primary care. Medical specialists familiar with the new equipment are being brought into the country to assist with training, and Macedonian medical staff will also be offered additional training opportunities in the Netherlands and Germany.
One of the goals of the program is to improve the transport of premature babies that need to be treated in the University Children’s Hospital Skopje. Currently, there are no vehicles sufficiently equipped to assure the safe transportation of newborn babies with special needs.
Dr. Bajalski, who works at the Mother Teresa hospital, said that this is the first donation of its kind in 20 years and that the entire hospital staff was very satisfied by the excellent quality of the equipment, in particular with the image resolution equipment.
This is only the beginning of the cooperation between Project HOPE and the Special Hospital for Gynecology and Obstetrics ‘Mother Teresa’ in the framework of the PeriMAC project, and the director of the hospital, Dr. Ismaili expressed his sincere gratitude and appreciation about continuing this cooperation that is bringing better care to all mothers and babies at his hospital.
The state-of-the-art equipment donations and trainings are highly valued by the Ministry of Health and medical professionals and will support a true breakthrough in perinatal health care in Macedonia.
“Project HOPE didn’t just give us equipment,” added Dr. Skeparoska, “but – as its name says – it gave us HOPE. Thank you!”
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