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Improving Kosovo's prenatal care

Published July 26, 2004; Category: DARTMOUTH MEDICAL SCHOOL

Partnership intended to train doctors and nurses

Dartmouth Medical School will help expand health-care resources in Kosovo through a partnership to improve the lives of mothers and babies in the city of Gjakova, Kosovo.

The effort, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was formalized at DMS June 24, when representatives from the American International Health Alliance, Inc. (AIHA), the Family Medicine Centers in Gjakova and Dartmouth Medical School signed a memorandum of understanding. The partnership, administered by AIHA, aims to expand the access, availability and quality of prenatal health services in Gjakova family clinics.

The signing ceremony coincides with the first of four week-long training exchanges to the United States planned over the next two years. DMS's Department of Community and Family Medicine hosted three doctors and two nurses from Gjakova, Kosovo, June 18-26, to begin the process of integrating prenatal care into the Kosovo family medicine system. At present, most obstetric care in Kosovo is provided by specialists; many women do not see a doctor until the actual time of delivery.

While at DMS, Gjakova health professionals will learn skills and methods to provide quality prenatal care. Their time will be split between class work and immersion in primary health-care clinics where they will shadow American doctors and nurses for two days. The classroom will introduce the Kosovar visitors to a model of thinking about health-care systems called microsystems, where small groups of people work together on a regular basis to provide care to discrete subpopulations of patients. The clinic immersions will allow them to learn American medical techniques and then collaborate with their DMS partners to implement new strategies into sustainable, culturally appropriate improvements in the Gjakova Family Medicine Centers.

By BETH HINDMARSH

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Last Updated: 12/17/08