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    EUCOM, US Embassy renovate Kosovo hospitals

    EUCOM, US Embassy renovate Kosovo hospitals

    Photo By Lt. Col. Randy Ready | Dr. Shemsedin Dreshaj, the director for the Infectious Disease Clinic at the...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Randy Ready 

    4th Public Affairs Detachment

    PRISTINA, Kosovo – The U.S. Embassy in Kosovo’s Office of Defense Cooperation and the U.S. European Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Program recently completed a $2 million renovation project at the University Clinical Center of Kosovo in Pristina.

    The renovations were part of a two phase project funded by the EUCOM Humanitarian Assistance Program and managed by the Embassy’s ODC. It was started in 2011 and aimed at strengthening the capacity and quality of health care for the Kosovo people.

    U.S. Army Lt. Col. Bruce Murphy, the chief for the Office of Defense Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo, said they met with Kosovo’s minister of health to determine his priorities in order to help provide better medical care.

    “We try to integrate our projects with the ministers so we are in step with them, so our projects will continue to be supported and maintained once we give them back to the host nation,” said Murphy, a native of Green Bay, Wis.

    Murphy said their goal was to create a modernized health facility able to support the long-term health and welfare of the people of Kosovo. Since the UCCK is the largest medical facility in Kosovo and provides services to tens of thousands of patients annually, they determined the best way they could assist through the EUCOM Humanitarian Assistance Program was to renovate the UCCK’s infectious disease and surgical clinics.

    Dr. Shemsedin Dreshaj, the director for the infectious disease clinic, said these renovations were important as the clinic has approximately 3,000 inpatients and 10,000 outpatients each year, with these being some of the most vulnerable people in Kosovo.

    “The infectious diseases patients are the poorest ones that belong to our population,” said Dreshaj. “So for them it’s really a good chance to have good care and good treatment.”

    The first phase of the project was concluded in 2013 with one floor in both the infectious disease and surgical clinics being completely renovated. During the second phase they renovated another floor at the infectious disease clinic and a wing at the surgical clinic.

    Murphy said the renovations included installing new drop ceilings, lighting systems, bathroom and shower fixtures, windows and radiators for the heating systems. Some of the flooring was replaced with self-levelling floors while those that were in good shape were renovated to make them more presentable and safe. New safety equipment like state-of-the-art fire systems and alarms were installed as well as new fireproof doors that meet hospitable standards.

    “If you look at what we’ve done here and just the quality facility that we’ve turned over back to the UCCK, not only is it a better facility for the patients with better equipment and better facilities, but it’s also better for the staff,” said Murphy. “[It] provides better working conditions for them so they are better able to treat the patients and provide that medical care.”

    At the hospital dedication ceremony held Dec. 24, U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo Tracey Ann Jacobson made sure to recognize EUCOM’s efforts at improving the health care available to the people of Kosovo.

    “I would like to highlight the fact that this project is another example of European Command’s interest in supporting the broad development of Kosovo,” said Jacobson. “EUCOM is committed to supporting both Kosovo’s security sector reform and assisting Kosovo in improving its capacity to deliver essential services to its citizens.”

    Murphy said the strategy from ODC Pristina has been to focus on improving both the medical and educational services for the people of Kosovo, which is directly in line with the EUCOM Humanitarian Aid Program’s strategy.

    “What [this project] really shows is that EUCOM is truly a partner and supportive of Kosovo,” said Murphy. “Not just in the security sector, which you would think traditionally the European Command would be interested in, but also through the whole of Kosovo approach where they are trying to assist and provide better social services. We’ve definitely been great partners through EUCOM with the Kosovo Security Forces, but also through other ministries where we can support the wider population of Kosovo.”

    Dreshaj said they plan to start moving patients into the new wings as soon as possible, greatly enhancing their ability to treat and provide better care for their patients.

    “Thanks to the U.S. Embassy and the [European Command] that they do this good job for the Kosovo people and the patients who will be treated here,” said Dreshaj.



    Date Taken: 01.10.2014
    Date Posted: 01.14.2014 04:36
    Story ID: 119125
    Location: PRISTINA, ZZ 
    Hometown: GREEN BAY, WI, US

    Web Views: 634
    Downloads: 0