UNICEF delivered a life-saving device for newborn babies to the Paediatric Clinic in Kragujevac

Valuable donation provided by Delhaize Serbia

17 November 2021
Donation Kragujevac World Prematurity Day

Kragujevac, 17 November 2021 - World Prematurity Day was celebrated today in all four neonatal units in Serbia, and the Paediatric Clinic in Kragujevac received a therapeutic hypothermia device for asphyxiated newborns from UNICEF. This donation was provided by Delhaize Serbia as part of the So Small They Could Fit Inside a Heart campaign. 

The therapeutic hypothermia device for asphyxiated newborns is intended for treating babies who suffered oxygen deprivation during birth and prevents brain damage by applying a modern controlled temperature reduction method.

"We are particularly pleased to have joined forces again today to send a joint appeal on the importance of support to prematurely-born babies and their parents to win the most important battle of their lives. Although weak and sensitive, babies who are born prematurely are great fighters and inspiration to all of us who provide support to them so that they can thrive. UNICEF has been supporting the Paediatric Clinic for years through the procurement of necessary equipment, but also through expert support in reaching the highest standards in developmental care. I would also like to thank the Delhaize Serbia company, which has provided the funds for the purchase of this device for babies born with oxygen deprivation, which can truly save their lives. We have an important joint message on this day dedicated to prematurely-born babies and to all those who provide them with care, that caring for them remains our priority," stated Prof. Dr. Andjelka Stojkovic, Director of the Paediatric Clinic of the Kragujevac UCC.

Every year, about 65 thousand children are born in Serbia, 4000 of whom are premature babies, and every day another seven babies require some form of urgent support. UNICEF launched the So Small They Could Fit Inside a Heart campaign late last year, with the support of the Ministry of Health, in order to provide additional equipment for neonatal intensive care units in Serbia. Since the beginning of the year, with the support of the private sector and humane individuals, equipment has been provided for the modernisation of neonatal units in Kragujevac, Nis, Novi Sad and Belgrade worth 24,163,788.65 dinars. Eight incubators, 4 thermoregulation systems, 2 reanimation tables, 4 skin-to-skin armchairs, 18 infusion pumps, 4 thoracic drainage systems, 2 systems for non-invasive ventilation of newborns and other equipment have been provided.

"UNICEF and the Neonatology Centre were with me and my daughter Elena in the most difficult moments, when every hour was important to my child. My Elena was born at 31 weeks, weighing only 980 grams, and now she is three and a half years old and is a cheerful little girl whose growing up is a source of enjoyment for all of us. The support and care we received during the 68 days we spent here were crucial to her survival and thriving and I am immensely grateful to them for every word, gesture and sincere concern for both of us," said Mirjana Stojic, mother of Elena, a prematurely-born girl. 

"The Neonatology Centre of the Paediatric Clinic provides care to the most vulnerable babies from Central and South East Serbia, and during the emergency that affected Novi Pazar and Sandzak last year, most patients, children and young people sick with COVID were taken care of and treated here. In these difficult times, when we witness children, babies and pregnant women increasingly becoming infected with COVID, only by joining forces can we achieve results. That is why we would like to thank Delhaize Serbia for providing the funds to support the most vulnerable and also the hardiest among us, who demonstrate enormous strength in the fight to survive, and we continue to fight to provide the necessary conditions to premature babies to develop and thrive," said Jelena Zajeganovic Jakovljevic, Early Childhood Development Specialist, UNICEF.

Since 2017, when UNICEF supported the equipping of neonatal intensive care units in Serbia so that prematurely-born and ill newborns would receive adequate support to survive and thrive, UNICEF has invested a total of 61,463,023.00 dinars in modernising the operation of the neonatal service in Serbia.

"Delhaize Serbia recognised UNICEF as the right partner and supported the modernisation of neonatal units in Kragujevac and Novi Sad. Our support is directed towards the most vulnerable babies, but also the doctors and health care staff who are there for them every day. World Prematurity Day is a great opportunity for all of us to send a message together on the importance of this topic, but also about how much it is part of all of us," stated Milica Popovic, Corporate Communications Manager, Delhaize Serbia.

Delhaize Serbia donated a total of 200.000 euros to UNICEF for equipping neonatal intensive care units in our country. From this donation, in January the Kragujevac Neonatology Centre will receive the first ambulance for prematurely-born and ill newborns. 

In addition to Kragujevac, the World Prematurity Day was marked today in all four neonatal units in Nis, Novi Sad and Belgrade. Two incubators were delivered to the Institute for Neonatology in response to growing needs for providing care to babies and children who are increasingly becoming sick with COVID. 

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