UNICEF and dm team up to promote the home visiting service in Serbia
Cities of Kragujevac and Bor receive vehicles for home visits by visiting nurses
Belgrade, 9 August 2023 – Every year, new babies are born in Serbia to about 125,000 mums and dads whose parenting practices shape the lives and future of their children on a daily basis. To ensure that parents are prepared to be the best support to their children, it is vital that they receive system-wide support from the community, while visiting nurses play an important role in the life of every family even before a baby is born.
In cooperation with the Ministry of Health, UNICEF has launched the “Caring for the Caregiver” programme, aimed at building the capacities of the health care system, in particular the home visiting services, to support parents’ mental health and emotional well-being.
Each primary health centre in Serbia has a polyvalent home visiting service, which acts as a direct link not only with the health care system, but also with other local community services. In order to further enhance the work of the home visiting service, UNICEF and dm have formed a partnership, through which dm has donated RSD 5,860,500 for the purchase of two vehicles for home visits, which will enable visiting nurses’ support to reach every pregnant woman, mother, father and baby even in the remotest neighbourhoods in Bor and Kragujevac.
“The home visiting service plays a unique role in the preservation of health of children and entire families. Serbia has a well-established and highly efficient network of polyvalent home visiting services, which has been recognized globally as an example of good caring practice during early childhood development. By paying preventive home visits to pregnant women and families with children and reaching even the remotest families, visiting nurses embody the health care system’s foremost and quintessential pillar of support for parents and their child’s development. Their role is to support immunization, breastfeeding, healthy diets, holistic development and a nurturing environment for the child, as well as to recognize and promptly respond to any risks in the family environment, including any cases of violence. Therefore, it is essential to acknowledge all needs of this service and to make a conscious effort, by improving the regulations, working conditions and through other forms of support, to enable its continuous development and ensure high-quality services tailored to the needs of children and families”, said Jelena Jakovljević-Zajeganović, Health and Early Childhood Development Specialist at UNICEF Serbia.
A family environment is the most natural setting for the growth and development of every child. The support provided by visiting nurses gives mothers and fathers a sense of security and of having someone they can rely on.
“We at dm are driven by principles that transcend our business goals, and willing to leverage our market position to create positive societal changes. This includes, among other things, our support to parenting, which has a prominent place in our business concept, and that is why we see our partnership with UNICEF as an outstanding joint endeavour allowing us to ensure that every child gets equal conditions and opportunities for development from the moment they are born into this world. We take immense pride in all our activities that have brought happiness to so many families in Serbia and that is why we are genuinely delighted to continue taking part in initiatives of this kind. Being aware of the significance of the support provided by visiting nurses in the lives of all parents, we have decided to donate two vehicles for home visits, so that all children and parents in Bor and Kragujevac can receive assistance during the most delicate periods of their lives”, said Svetlana Jovanović Mitić, Department Manager of Marketing and Communications at dm Serbia and North Macedonia.
“Caring for the Caregiver” places greater focus on preventive care for caregivers’ mental health, in order to enable them to cope more effectively with the stress of parenting, learn how to practice self-care and foster healthy family relationships. The programme devotes attention equally to both mothers and fathers, to building a parenting alliance and sharing parenting responsibilities, as well as to strengthening partner relationships.
The shared goal is to work together with partners, caregiver associations and professionals to raise the awareness of caregivers and the general public about the significance of preventive care for the mental health of pregnant women and caregivers of young children. The development of home visiting services is the Ministry of Health’s strategic choice and part of national programmes, adopted by the Government of the Republic of Serbia. The programme provides the general public with readily available and convenient evidence-based tips on parenting, as well as recommendations on self-care, stress management and problem solving, and enables more efficient cooperation and connection with community-based service providers. The support that mums and dads receive in this way will allow them to take more pleasure in watching their child growing up.
Prisutni smo u više od 190 zemalja i teritorija, a kroz sve što radimo promovišemo prava i dobrobit dece, posebno one koja su najugroženija i isključena. U potpunosti se finansiramo od dobrovoljnih priloga pojedinaca, država i vlada, fondacija i kompanija.