For many new mothers in Macedonia, the experience of childbirth is a wonderful, unforgettable, and cherished memory that lasts a lifetime as their babies grow and flourish. But for new mothers who suffer complications in the last stages of pregnancy and give birth prematurely, the experience is as daunting as their newborn’s chances of survival. That’s why Project HOPE is making a major commitment to increase the survival chances of premature babies and improve perinatal care in Macedonia with donated equipment to the Mother Teresa Hospital in Skopje. The hospital specializes in Gynecology and Obstetrics and Dr. Venko Filipche, the Balkan republic’s health minister, attended the official handover of the recent donation, which included nearly $90,000 in medical equipment that targets improvements in ante-natal, childbirth, and newborn care. Donations of another $95,000 from this shipment went to the Clinical Center in Tetovo, the General Hospital in Kumanovo, and the University Clinic for Pediatrics in Skopje.
HOPE’s support is part of the NGO’s comprehensive PeriMAC program, which aims to reduce infant mortality and morbidity in Macedonia and to improve mother and child health. Since January 2016, the program has received medical equipment donations valued at nearly USD $1,000,000, and over the last two-and-half years, the program has helped increase the number of deliveries in the Mother Teresa Hospital by 40 percent.
The PeriMAC Program and its partnership with the Ministry of Health also aims to transform the Mother Teresa Hospital into one of two ‘Centers of Excellence’ for perinatal care in Skopje, enabling medical staff to more competently and thoroughly treat diseases associated with high-risk pregnancies and premature births. This will play an essential role in decreasing the infant mortality and morbidity rates in Macedonia.
Project HOPE has been building the capacity of the health workforce in Macedonia since 1992 and has delivered more than $80 million in donated medicines and supplies to the country. In 2015, HOPE deployed medical volunteers to Macedonia to support local teams providing much-needed care following the influx of Syrian refugees and other migrants crossing the Greek/Macedonia border en route for Western Europe.
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