UNICEF delivered new incubators to Nis and Kragujevac

Three more incubators in two cities for “small giants”

21 May 2021
Incubator delivery, handshaking in front of Center for neonatology in Kragujevac
UNICEF Srbija/2021/Vas

Nis, Kragujevac, 21 May 2021 - Today, UNICEF donated three more incubators to Nis and Kragujevac, which were procured as part of the campaign So small they could fit inside a heart, which was launched at the end of last year with the aim of equipping and modernizing neonatal units in our country. Today, Nis received two and Kragujevac received one incubator, which makes it a total of seven incubators donated by UNICEF in the last month.

On behalf of UNICEF in Serbia, the incubator was delivered to the Head of the Centre for Neonatology of the University Clinical Centre Kragujevac, Dr Dragana Ristic, by Jelena Kovacevic, in the presence of a representative of the company MRG Export-Import, which donated funds for the procurement of this incubator.

The Centre for Neonatology in Kragujevac already received one incubator in April, and in previous years we also received other important equipment and professional support to raise the capacities within the family-centred developmental care of prematurely born babies. These little babies need all our support and attention, and in the COVID-19 era, this support must be even stronger, because we are witnessing the fact that babies can also be infected with the coronavirus. Our Centre in Kragujevac covers 13 maternity wards and takes care of these small patients from the entire Central and Southeastern Serbia, and during the crisis in Novi Pazar and Sandzak last year, the largest number of COVID-19 patients was taken care of and treated here.

In difficult times like these, when the entire world is struggling with the pandemic, we must work together to find the answer to the challenges, we must support the parents of these babies and I am convinced, more than ever, that we can achieve results only through joint action. UNICEF is our long-standing and reliable partner who gives us support and strength to deal with adversity and we all know that we can always count on UNICEF”, said the Head of the Centre for Neonatology at the UCC Kragujevac, Dr Dragana Ristic.

Every year, 65,000 children are born in Serbia, of which 4,000 are prematurely born babies, and every day, 7 new babies require some kind of urgent support. And it is premature birth that is responsible for more than 60% of infant deaths.

I am very pleased that we are once again donating three incubators in Kragujevac and Nis, in addition to the ones we already donated in April. Two incubators for Nis are provided through donations from citizens, while the incubator provided to Kragujevac is a donation from the company MRG Export-Import. This is a small part of the equipment provided by UNICEF as part of the campaign SO SMALL THEY COULD FIT INSIDE A HEART, which we launched with the aim of strengthening the neonatal services in Serbia, and we have been committed to this goal, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, since 2017. We continue to procure the necessary equipment and provide support to neonatal intensive care units in order to further reduce the mortality of prematurely born babies, which is our mission.

A big THANK YOU to all our partners who supported us in this important initiative. This campaign is an example of how, united, we can create systemic changes for little heroes who, despite their vulnerability, are showing a giant's strength that is an inspiration to us all”, said Jelena Kovacevic on behalf of UNICEF Serbia.

We are very happy and it is our pleasure to be able to donate funds for the procurement of incubators for prematurely born babies in Kragujevac. My company, MRG EXPORT-IMPORT, as a socially responsible company, strives to identify the various needs of our society, and UNICEF has the power to unite different partners around a common goal and thus enable those needs to be met. This is our small support to make sure that prematurely born babies get equal chances to start their lives”, said Tijana Grbovic, Director of the company MRG Export-Import.

Thanks to the cooperation with leading national experts in the field of neonatology, from 2017 until today, UNICEF has defined a series of measures to support intensive neonatal care units in eight health care institutions in Nis, Kragujevac, Belgrade and Novi Sad. After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF provided 12 neonatal ventilators for the intensive care of prematurely born babies in these institutions, as an additional form of support.

And today, I would like to express my gratitude to UNICEF, for their long-standing commitment and great cooperation, as well as to thank them for the four incubators that we have received only in the last month. Around 2.5 million people gravitate towards Nis, and these incubators are intended for saving lives, treating and taking care of children from the entire region of Southern and Southeastern Serbia. Incubators give prematurely born babies a chance to survive and come home. New modern equipment provides us with opportunities to maximize the quality of health services and care in children’s clinics and this is an important task to which we are committed, and with UNICEF as a partner, we have additional strength to persevere in our mission”, said Prof. Dr Zoran Perisic, acting Director of the UCC Nis.

Since 2017, UNICEF has invested a total of 45,768,852.00 dinars for modernizing the neonatal service in Serbia and continues to work in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, which also supported the campaign So small they could fit inside a heart.

A big thank you goes to UNICEF because it has been with us in previous years, because we can rely on UNICEF and count on it to join us in the fight for the lives of these tiny but strong babies. Incubators are here to help us support prematurely born babies to fight for each new breath, to survive and catch up with their peers who came into this world on time. In June, we will also receive a device for cooling therapy which will, with all the help received so far, significantly improve the conditions in which we provide care for the most vulnerable babies. It is important to say that we remain committed to the further development of perinatal and neonatal care at the Clinic in Nis and that we are counting on the strong partnership with UNICEF in the future”, said Prof. Dr Emilija Golubovic, Head of the Clinic for Children and Internal Medicine of the UCC Nis.

Thanks to the response from more than 5,100 individuals and 257 small and medium enterprises, just during this campaign, in the period from November 2020 until now, UNICEF raised more than 12 million dinars, which enabled the procurement of a total of seven incubators, four of which were delivered to Nis, two to Kragujevac and one to Novi Sad, and one device for therapeutic hypothermia of newborns was provided to the Institute of Neonatology in Belgrade.

UNICEF continues with the procurement of the necessary equipment and provision of support to neonatal intensive care units so they can reach the European standards, which also includes implementing the principles of family-oriented developmental care as a vital step towards improving outcomes in terms of mortality, morbidity and development of prematurely born babies and babies born with health complications.


So Small They Could Fit Inside a Heart


UNICEF invites citizens and the business community to continue helping with their donations, in order to show all the strength of unity and help the most vulnerable babies get the best conditions to start their lives.

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