|Belgrade, August 2, 2021 – The largest retail chain in the country, Delhaize Serbia, has donated 200,000 euros to UNICEF which will go towards modernizing and equipping neonatal units in our country. This is the largest donation from the private sector this year, which will ensure the purchase of the first transport vehicle for children and therapeutic hypothermia devices for newborns to the Neonatology Centre in Kragujevac, as well as one therapeutic hypothermia device for newborns to the Institute for Health Protection of Children and Youth of Vojvodina from Novi Sad. The donation will also enable further training for doctors, nurses and associates regarding the implementation of the latest know-how and procedures in neonatology.
“This is the first transport vehicle intended for premature babies and children up to the age of 18. It is also an extremely important donation for our Clinical Centre and the Pediatric Clinic, which are now equipped to provide care to premature babies in situations where every moment is crucial for their survival. All of us who take care of premature babies would like to express our gratitude towards Delhaize Serbia, which recognized the importance of this campaign and donated significant funds to it. Many thanks also to UNICEF, which has been with us for many years and which donated to us two resuscitation tables, three incubators and five infusion pumps since the beginning of this year,” said the director of the Pediatrics Clinic of the University Medical Centre in Kragujevac, Professor Andjelka Stojković, MD.
The transport vehicle will ensure that the prematurely born and sick newborns will be transported to the nearest neonatal intensive care unit on time and safely, thus significantly increasing their chances of survival and receiving professional care. The training that our doctors, nurses and associates will undergo will help with all neonatal intensive care units to reach European standards in this area and implement the principles of family-oriented developmental care as a vital step towards improving outcomes in terms of mortality, disease and development of premature babies who have health complications.
“It always makes us very proud and happy when, as a company, we have the opportunity to provide support to the local community in which we live and operate. Neonatal units are an extremely important segment of the health care system and that is why the donation will go towards their modernization in order to create the foundation for a healthier and more carefree upbringing of future generations and children from Kragujevac, Vojvodina, as well as other parts of Serbia. The last two years that have been marked by the coronavirus pandemic have shown us how important solidarity with those who need support is, but also that only through a responsible approach and acting together can we launch important initiatives and make our environment a better place to live in, “said Jan-Willem Dockheer, CEO of Delhaize Serbia.
The cooperation between Delhaize Serbia and UNICEF began last year when the “Round off the receipt, extend life” campaign was launched, during which shoppers rounded off the amount on their cash receipts they got by purchasing in Maxi, Mega Maxi, Tempo and Shop & Go stores to support fundraising for equipment and modernization of the neonatal service in Serbia.
“Delhaize Serbia’s support is extremely important for UNICEF Serbia, because it is a reflection of strong trust between the two partners and a common vision of how to support the most sensitive members of our society, like premature babies. With this donation, we will significantly improve the equipment in neonatal units in Serbia and enable children in Serbia, regardless of their place of residence, to have access to the best medical care thus increasing their chances of survival and facilitating their development. In addition to the latest equipment, which includes a transport vehicle and other medical devices that we will purchase thanks to a valuable donation from Delhaize Serbia, it is equally important for all children to always, especially in situations when they are in the biggest jeopardy, such as premature birth and illness, ensure contact with the mother or parents is constant because this contact is the key to stimulating the child’s development, and thus their faster and more successful recovery. Therefore, thanks to the donation, we will strive to boost the capacities of both institutions and professionals in the implementation of the highest standards in neonatology, which include the principles of family-oriented developmental care,” said Deyana Kostadinova, UNICEF Representative in Serbia.
Thanks to the cooperation with leading national experts in neonatology, from 2017 to date, UNICEF has devised a number of measures that support intensive neonatal care units in eight health institutions in Niš, Kragujevac, Belgrade and Novi Sad. During these past five years, UNICEF has spent 53,210,532 dinars on modernizing neonatal health services in Serbia and continues to work in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, which also supported the “So Small They Can Fit Inside a Heart” campaign.