Provision of Medical Equipment for the Ambulatory Medical Centre/Service of Ndihmon Ne Shqiperi, Albania

Project location: ALBANIA, Shkoder
Project start date: May 2014 - Project end date: June 2014
Project number: 2014-004
Beneficiary: Malteser Ndihmon ne Shqiperi


For nearly two decades Malteser Albania has provided medical assistance to people in Shkodra and other regions of Albania. The primary focus is put on the people in need in particular indigent people, residents of remote mountainous areas, elderly, vulnerable social groups and communities, Roma, Egyptians, victims of natural disasters etc. Free medical services ranging from simple check-ups to more specialised examinations inter alia measuring of blood pressure and glycaemic levels, ECG etc., are regularly provided to all people in the areas covered by Malteser Albania. During 2013, for example Malteser Medical teams provided free medical services to over 2000 people.

Since its creation in 1993 (officially registered in Albanian court in 1995) Malteser Ndihmon ne Shqiperi has been running a healthcare programme "The Mountain Project" providing basic medical service for the population of remote mountain areas of Northern Albania. The Mountain Project is Malteser's main project and started as a response to the urgent need for medical service in remote mountain areas. In 1993 the state medical structures were not able to provide basic medical service in the remote mountain villages of Shkoder Region. These extremely poor areas were left without doctors, pharmacies or ambulatory health care centres, and the population had no money to buy medicine. The transportation of the sick or the injured to the Regional Hospital in Shkoder was made mostly by foot -taking several hours- or occasionally by the rare private vehicles driving in those villages. During 2012 for example the project ran in three mountain villages, covering a population of about four thousand inhabitants who for many years are nearly abandoned by the public healthcare service and continue to live without any medical services. Malteser provided basic medical services, such as: medical visits, necessary therapy treatment, laboratory medical analyses, medical specialist consultations, emergency transports to hospitals and health education training for the local population.
Since 2000 Malteser Albania has been running the project "One step forward in integrating Roma and Egyptian population" in the cities of Shkodra and Lezha. The project is focussed on integrating the Roma and Egyptian communities in the society through a wide range of activities: delivering basic medical service, educating Roma & Egyptian population on health issues, the respect of the rule of law, their legal rights and responsibilities, providing legal counselling and support. The healthcare aspect of the project consists in medical assistance including medical visits, necessary therapy treatments, laboratory analyses, specialised medical consultations, emergency transports to hospitals and health education training for the population.
Three years ago, Malteser Ndihmon ne Shqiperi opened in Shkodra another medical ambulatory that continuously offers medical services for the uninsured, marginalised and underprivileged people coming from the outskirts of Shkoder or mountain zones to the city for better living conditions.

This project received a grant from the Nando Peretti Foundation. Its general objective is to contribute to the improvement of healthcare system in Albania by providing effective access to medical care for the most vulnerable social groups.
The specific objective of the project is to procure mobile medical equipment for ambulatory medical care centres and to provide specialised diagnostic medical services to marginalised, vulnerable groups and to all persons with limited or no access to healthcare system in Albania.

The healthcare system in Albania is exposed to many problems that unaddressed over the years have made it inaccessible, inefficient, corrupt, poorly equipped in facilities, equipment and services, and geographically confined in major urban areas living uncovered large parts of rural and remote areas.
The healthcare system, including the primary care does not cover the entire country. Many areas, in particular remote mountainous areas do not have any healthcare infrastructure, equipment or medical personnel.
In addition, the combination of social-economic difficulties, unemployment, discrimination prevent vulnerable social groups and communities to effectively have access to public healthcare service, which supposedly is free and remain the only affordable service for them. Widespread corruption in the public health sector is an additional obstacle for the poor and the needy to access medical care.
The project proposes to address these issues by procuring the necessary medical equipment that will provide the beneficiaries with access to medical services denied by the healthcare system
The objectives of the project fully coincide with the Foundation's goals in particular these protecting health and promoting human rights of vulnerable social groups and communities such as non-discrimination and equality of treatment with regard to access to healthcare.

The project proposes to provide a complementary or an alternative solution to its final beneficiaries, in particular the vulnerable and indigent communities to effectively access basic medical care services. The procurement of mobile medical equipment will allow the Malteser's medical teams to provide medical examinations and services to all those that have no or difficult access to the healthcare system.
Purchasing specialised mobile medical equipment will allow Malteser to continue its current projects in healthcare and medical assistance.
The equipment will be administered by Malteser and put at disposal of its medical teams that provide ambulatory medical services to the beneficiaries of different Malteser's running projects described above. Medical equipment will serve in the mountain zones where the medical teams of the Malteser are working since years. Inhabitants can have first examinations like EKG or HTA there at the place. It will be not more necessary to travel for more than 75 km (one way) in very bad road conditions for having an EKG examination.
The medical services through the equipment to be purchased through the project sought will be provided for free to the indigent beneficiaries for whom this is the only way to have access to healthcare, while medical services/examinations will be provided against competitive fees to other beneficiaries for whom these services are an alternative to the absent/ inadequate medical services.

In short, this project aims to achieve the following goals:

  • Effective access to medical services will be made possible for thousands of people in Northern Albania and other areas currently deprived from access to healthcare system.
  • Healthcare situation will significantly improve for indigent and vulnerable communities.
  • The project will boost the medical aspect of Malteser's social programmes qualitatively improving the medical services
    The successful implementation of this project will allow increasing the number, range of medical services generating an income that will be used to extend the coverage of beneficiaries of the project and the activity itself.

Malteser Ndihmon ne Shqiperi
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