AmeriCares remains committed to post-war reconstruction of Kosovo's health care system with a continuing focus on mother and child health.
Snapshot of Kosovo:
The ethnic tensions that have troubled Kosovo for centuries erupted into violent conflict in the mid-1990s as the former Yugoslavia tore itself apart and the region tried to break away from Serbia. To end the escalating crisis, NATO intervened with air strikes in 1999 and the United Nations took over the administration of Kosovo until 2008 when Kosovo’s parliament unilaterally declared independence from Serbia. With very high unemployment and a primarily agrarian economy, the new republic remains one of the poorest in Europe, reliant on international aid as it struggles to meet basic health needs. Critical health issues:
- Maternal and child health
- Basic health care access
Since 1999, AmeriCares has provided shipments of critical medicines and medical supplies to help rebuild health care access. Working with international partners and hospitals in Kosovo, we have focused on support for neonatal care. We continue to provide important specialized medications for neonatal care through our partnership with the Foundation for Healthy Mothers and Babies.
From 1999 to 2004, AmeriCares and Dartmouth Medical School collaborated to enhance orthopedic care at the University Clinical Center of Kosovo (UCCK). Subsequently, from 2004 to 2007, AmeriCares provided millions of dollars worth of orthopedic surgical equipment, anesthesia and medical consumables which ultimately increased Kosovo’s capacity to treat a broader range of orthopedic problems and to improve the quality of life of orthopedic patients.
During the war and in its immediate aftermath (1999 through 2003), AmeriCares delivered 22 shipments of medical and humanitarian assistance to the people of Kosovo, providing critical aid for survivors of the war and support for post-conflict reconstruction efforts
In 2006, we began providing medical commodity assistance to improve mother and child health at UCCK. This hospital, consisting of 3,000 beds and 18 clinical departments, is the only tertiary care center in the region and serves a catchment population of roughly 2 million inhabitants. In conjunction with our medical partners and our long-time corporate partner Abbott, we supported a program for healthy newborns which assisted mothers in delivering healthy babies. The dramatic results saw infant mortality rates in some weight profiles drop by 50%.
To treat respiratory distress in newborns, Abbott Fund has supported the procurement of CPAP machines to provide Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, an advanced oxygenation system for the NICU and a supply of the surfactant replacement therapy, Survanta™. Read about Saving the Tiniest Babies in Kosovo.
AmeriCares also donates medical products to qualified U.S. health care professionals who are traveling to Kosovo to provide charitable medical care. Through this program, donated medicines and medical supplies reach impoverished and isolated communities where even basic medical care is inaccessible to the poor or often non-existent. AmeriCares donations cure infections, relieve pain, help patients manage chronic diseases and make life-changing surgeries possible. Since 1999, products valued at $451,000 have been donated to the Medical Outreach Program in Kosovo.
Recent News from Kosovo
A tiny preemie spent her first days of life in a neonatal intensive care unit in Kosovo, where she survived thanks to respiratory medication donated by AmeriCares and AbbVie – part of a ten-year program that has saved the lives of approximately 200 infants every year.
Twins Arjana and Adelin are just two of the hundreds of premature babies whose lives have been saved in the impoverished country of Kosovo, thanks to medical aid delivered by AmeriCares.
Hundreds of premature babies have been saved in the impoverished country of Kosovo, thanks medical aid delivered by AmeriCares to the Foundation for Healthy Mothers and Babies. Since 2007, AmeriCares has delivered more than 1,000 vials of surfactant donated by Abbott to the foundation for use in a neonatal ICU, along with crucial supplies that make a lifesaving difference for newborns at risk.
AmeriCares helps premature babies survive respiratory distress syndrome. Read more about how you can help preemies.