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Kosovo

Equipping local health workers with the training, medicines, and supplies to better care for their communities

The Context

Kosovo is one of the world’s youngest countries, having declared independence from Serbia in 2008 after years of conflict. As a result, the country’s health care system has struggled to modernize and remains challenged with shortages in medicines and equipment, as well as prohibitively high costs that prevent people from accessing the treatment and support they need. Additionally, health data for Kosovo is extremely limited, making it difficult to track long-term progress on key health indicators.

Kosovo has made significant strides over the years, but infant mortality rate remains significantly higher than the European average due to a lack of access to high-quality maternal, neonatal, and child health care. Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) affect a high portion of the population, with cardiovascular diseases as the leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Additionally, years of war have resulted in a high prevalence of mental health concerns, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

breastfeeding icon

9

infants die for every 1,000 live births

While mortality has dropped significantly, it is 3x higher than the average in Europe.

2 in 3

deaths are caused by noncommunicable diseases

While more common among older adults, 25% of NCD-related deaths are for people ages 20–29.

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12.5%

the annual increase in cancer patients in Kosovo

Nearly half of all breast cancer cases are not detected until they are in late stages, resulting in poor treatment outcomes.

Our Impact

Delivering Essential Medicines and Supplies

Project HOPE’s innovative Strategic Medical Re-Supply Program (SMRP) launched in 2011 in Kosovo to alleviate shortages of essential medicines. Since then, we’ve worked closely with the Ministry of Health to deliver nearly $78 million worth of essential donated medicines, medical equipment, and supplies to hospitals and health facilities throughout the country.

Training Health Workers

Project HOPE medical volunteers provide support and peer-to-peer education to health workers at the University Clinical Center in the capital of Pristina. We also provide training for health workers, pharmacists, and facility personnel at hospitals and health clinics throughout the country on the proper use of donated medical equipment and supplies, inventory management, and technical support. Project HOPE’s partnership with Becton Dickinson and its Volunteer Service Trip signature program enabled us to train over 330 health care workers on crucial clinical skills for neonatal infants in 2023.

Our History in Kosovo

Project HOPE was one of the first responders to the humanitarian crisis in Kosovo after the war ended in 1999. We have continued to provide critical medical supplies and training for health workers ever since. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Kosovo, we supported the Ministry of Health and frontline health workers to better detect, contain, and respond to the virus. Furthermore, in collaboration with our partner, the South-eastern Europe Health Network, we managed to implement critically needed trainings for mental health and resilience of health care providers during COVID-19.

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Please make a compassionate gift today to help save lives around the world. Your support means more children and families can get the vital medicines and care they need now — and that health workers will have the training and support they need to save lives for years to come.

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