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Collaborative Action Needed to Combat Top Kosovo Diseases

Listing of Top Kosovo Diseases
Kosovo is a landlocked republic in southeast Europe that declared independence from Serbia in February 2008. As a new country, Kosovo struggled to establish a new healthcare system. National and international reports have shown that people of Kosovo are unsatisfied with healthcare services.

Here are the top Kosovo diseases:

  1. Tuberculosis
    Kosovo has one of the highest rates of TB cases in southeast Europe. The World Health Organization proposed a plan to Kosovo officials in April 2013. The plan includes the establishment of proper facilities for TB patients and operating procedures, accessible TB diagnosis and medicine, effective infection control, development of electronic database and adoption of progressive policies.
  2. Heart disease and cancer
    Tobacco use remains the leading avoidable cause of death in industrialized nations. In Europe, since the late 1970s, the proportion of smokers has dropped from 45 to 30%. However, in eastern European countries, and particularly in the Baltic states including Kosovo, smoking has continued to increase, particularly among young people and women. About 90% of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases caused by cigarette smoking, also increasing the risk of heart diseases such as an aneurysm, heart attack, stroke, and vascular disease.
    The HIV epidemic in comparison to other Kosovo diseases is relatively small. In 2013, a total of 2,857 HIV tests were carried out on people based on the clinical indication or risk group, in contrast to the population of 1.8 million. However, there is no detailed information on the reasons for testing, nor is there any data collected on testing and risk groups. Around 65% of HIV-positive individuals refused to follow up diagnoses and treatment. Unfortunately, the governmental and societal effort to reduce HIV in Kosovo is at a very low level.

The Kosovo Federation of Health Syndicate is dedicated to developing the legal structure needed for further processing with health insurance law. Today, the majority of Kosovo inhabitants still consider health insurance as an expensive privilege and only 2% of the population is covered by private health insurance. Future healthcare reforms are aimed to prevent Kosovo diseases from spreading.

Yana Emets

Photo: Flickr