Healthcare on wheels in Resen- Leaving no one behind
“I used to drive a tractor and spend whole days working in the apple orchards – summer and winter, rain or shine!” says 70-year-old Dragica Georgievska, “But now I can hardly even move. Ever since the fall I’ve been forced to stay at home. It’s like I’m strapped to my bed. I don’t have any pension and I can’t work. We’ve got no money at all.’
Dragica lives in Ljubojno, one of the remotest villages in the Prespa region. The accident she suffered as a result of a fall several years ago has left her immobile. Her injuries require a special form of physical rehabilitation, which Dragica cannot afford in her current circumstances, living alone with a son who’s unemployed. Often she’s left alone with no professional assistance or adequate medical treatment – one of many elderly people in the country, and especially those living in remote rural settlements, who urgently need medical care services at home.
Help is now at hand for Dragica, however, with the introduction of a mobile healthcare service in the Municipality of Resen. Two teams of professionals, including a social worker and a physiotherapist, working together with nurses and other caregivers, now deliver primary care and treatment at home to those in need, including regular visits to the remote villages of Stenje and Ljubojno.
The new mobile service provides basic medical check-ups and counselling, as well as physical rehabilitation therapy.
“For people living in rural areas who need regular therapy and monitoring, a visit from our mobile team is of vital importance,” explains Dr Sonja Andonovska, Manager of the Resen Healthcare Centre. “These services have filled in a serious gap in our local healthcare services care for chronically ill elderly patients.”
The mobile healthcare project was first piloted as part of the Community Works Programme by UNDP and the Government in the Municipality of Kochani. And the success of the pilot project has evidently been replicated in Resen, where the service has paid over 450 visits in the past six months – with Dragica amongst those warmly welcoming the new services:
“To have somebody coming to check whether I am still alive - that’s what matters most. That’s what makes me not give up. The team that come to check me up give me the strength to get out of bed. It’s a nice feeling to know that I have not been forgotten.“