UNICEF Delivers a Transport Vehicle to the Centre for Neonatology in Kragujevac
The valuable donation is provided by Delhaize Serbia
Kragujevac, 26 January 2022 - The Centre for Neonatology in Kragujevac received a transport vehicle designed to transport prematurely born and sick babies from maternity wards to the Centre for Neonatology and other relevant children’s hospitals in Serbia. The vehicle, worth 10,104,920 dinars, was provided through a donation by Delhaize Serbia to UNICEF and the So Small They Could Fit Inside a Heart campaign, which was launched with the aim of equipping and modernising neonatal units in Serbia.
In the presence of, Dr Predrag Sazdanovic, State Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Prof. Dr. Slobodan Milisavljevic, Director of the UCC Kragujevac, and a team of doctors, the transport vehicle was jointly delivered to Prof. Dr. Andjelka Stojkovic, Director of the Paediatric Clinic, by Jan-Williem Dockheer, Director of Delhaize Serbia, and Deyana Kostadinova, UNICEF Representative in Serbia.
"The Centre for Neonatology of the Paediatric Clinic provides care to the most vulnerable babies from central Serbia, part of South-Western and part of Eastern Serbia. We cover as many as 14 maternity wards and two and a half million people. During the emergency situation that occurred in Novi Pazar and across Sandzak, most of the COVID patients, children and young people, were provided care and treatment here. Today, we have as many as 36 babies in the neonatal unit in Kragujevac, who are fighting for every breath with unwavering support from doctors. We would like to thank UNICEF, which has brought together its partners around such an important campaign, since investing in children from the earliest period is, in fact, investing in the most important resource of every nation."
"Delhaize Serbia is our hero because in one of the most challenging years, it allocated significant funds to support babies that would not survive without the support of all of us," said Prof. Dr. Andjelka Stojkovic, Director of the Paediatric Clinic, UCC Kragujevac.
At the end of 2020, UNICEF launched the So Small They Could Fit Inside a Heart campaign with the aim of further improving the work of the neonatal service in Serbia. Supporting the work of neonatal units in Kragujevac, Nis, Novi Sad and Belgrade last year, UNICEF donated equipment worth more than 40 million dinars, not forgetting that, in particular in these circumstances, many newborn babies need daily assistance of the health care system.
"For years, UNICEF has been investing in improving the work of the neonatal service by providing the most modern equipment and organising training of doctors and other medical staff, and creating conditions for crucial emotional support and maintenance of contact between parents and their newborn babies. These investments have been intensified during the pandemic, because we know that only timely support for premature and sick babies can enable them to survive and thrive. That is why, in the first wave of the pandemic, UNICEF provided, among other things, 12 neonatal ventilators, and last year other necessary equipment for neonatal intensive care units in Belgrade, Nis, Novi Sad and Kragujevac. None of this would have been possible without the strong support of the private sector and individuals, especially without the support of Delhaize Serbia, which in these uncertain times made an important decision to support us with a valuable donation of 200,000 euros, the largest private sector donation to UNICEF last year. We are also grateful for the exceptional cooperation with the Ministry of Health, with which we have been working together with since 2017 on equipping and modernising neonatal units in Serbia."
"It is important to remember that such partnerships and joint efforts can make a difference for generations to come, and it is a privilege for me to be part of such an effort in society," said Deyana Kostadinova, UNICEF Representative in Serbia.
Owing to the generous donation from Delhaize Serbia worth 200,000 euros, apart from the transport vehicle, two devices for therapeutic hypothermia have been provided for newborns deprived of oxygen during delivery, which were delivered to the Centre for Neonatology in Kragujevac and the Institute for Child and Youth Health Care in Novi Sad last year. Part of the donation is also intended to build the capacity of doctors and professional staff to reach the highest standards in the developmental care of prematurely born babies.
"We are very proud of our partnership with UNICEF Serbia and the opportunity to support children from the very beginning of their lives. Our support for prematurely born babies is a reflection of our desire to support the most vulnerable members of this society and make a substantive contribution to creating conditions for every child to grow up in a healthier and safer environment, which is a prerequisite for children to fulfil their potential and become full members of society."
"Delhaize Serbia continues to support the local community and, with our socially responsible projects, every day we do something to create a more beautiful and better world around us," said Jan-Willem Dockheer, Director of Delhaize Serbia.
Since 2017, when UNICEF, in co-operation with the Ministry of Health, initiated intensive support to the improvement of the work of neonatal units in Serbia, so that prematurely born and sick babies would receive adequate support to survive and thrive, UNICEF has invested nearly 62 million dinars in their equipment. The So Small They Could Fit Inside a Heart campaign is the continuation of our joint efforts.
"The Ministry of Health has invested a lot in building health infrastructure and raising the capacity of our health care system. No matter how large our investments are, they can always be even larger, because the COVID crisis has imposed needs that had to be met overnight, in which we were successful. That is why partners such as UNICEF, with which we have been working together to modernise the neonatal care in Serbia since 2017, are important, as they remain committed to common priorities. This support is particularly important now, as babies and children must get the best care, especially in circumstances where they need additional health care and support."
"Today's donation is significant, not only because of its size, but because it is a signal and an invitation to other companies to be more receptive to the needs of those who rely on our support in times of crisis. We would like to thank UNICEF, which has brought together its partners to support us in these times when togetherness and unity are the greatest force that will help us overcome the COVID crisis and create conditions in which, after the crisis, babies and children will grow up in accordance with their needs," said Dr. Zlatibor Loncar, Minister of Health.
Last year, with the support of 250 small and medium-sized enterprises and 5,102 individuals, UNICEF delivered 10 incubators, 4 therapeutic hypothermia systems, 2 reanimation tables, 4 skin-to-skin chairs, 18 infusion pumps, 5 aspirators, 4 thoracic drainage systems, 2 systems for non-invasive ventilation of newborns and other valuable equipment designed to save the lives of prematurely born babies who, demonstrating astonishing strength, fight to survive from the moment they are born.
Caring for prematurely born babies, as the most sensitive members of our society, is further hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic and UNICEF, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, continues to support the improvement of the capacities of neonatal units in Kragujevac, Nis, Novi Sad and Belgrade.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/serbia