- Title: ALBANIA: Women "too afraid" to give birth at run-down hospital in Albania
- Date: 20th April 2006
- Summary: SIGN ON THE WALL SAYING: "ALL FOR THE GOOD OF THE MOTHER AND BABY"
- Embargoed: 5th May 2006 13:00
- Location: Albania
- Country: Albania
- Topics: Health
- Reuters ID: LVAF0WXDYII05ITYL2W2DD18CTG3
- Story Text: The maternity hospital at Elbasan, 60 kilometres from the Albanian capital of Tirana has such low levels of hygiene that women are afraid to give birth there.
The hospital which was built in the 1980s, tends to an area with approximately 300.000 inhabitants and despite the filth and disrepair of the maternity wards, doctors at Elbasan carry out around 2500 deliveries and 1300 chirurgical interventions annually.
The director of the hospital Arben Paralloi is very concerned about the situation and says that without some extra aid the hospital faces an uncertain future.
"The maternity hospital of Elbasan is one of the most important ones in Albania...The situation of the maternity hospital of Elbasan is very poor," said Paralloi whilst pointing at old surgical instruments, corroded vases and broken delivery beds.
"We are open to all the aid and investments that can be offered to us by the government or the non-governmental organisations, be these national or international. We hope that the situation in this institution, where life begins, changes for the better soon."
Amongst such bad decay and hygiene problems it nothing short of a miracle that mothers and babies survive.
Damp patches are common placed throughout the walls of the maternity wards and water flows freely from the toilets into the hospital floor.
Wards are over-crowded with anxious family members and women who are afraid to give birth there but have little choice in the matter.
"I am not happy with the conditions of the hospital. The only ones taking care of us are the nurses. I am having a blood test and I am so afraid I could catch any diseases, because of the poor conditions. We bring our gowns with us from home, because there is nothing here," said Fadile Qosja, a patient at the hospital.
"Yes, I am (afraid). As you can see the ceiling is falling down on us," said another patient as she pointed to the crumbling ceiling.
In fact the situation is so bad and hygiene levels so poor that women are prevented from staying at the hospital for more than two days because of the risk of infection.
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