Inadequate Access to Gynecological Services for Women and Girls in Skenderaj

The Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) member organization, NGO Drugëza, had a meeting centered around the theme “Reproductive Health, Gynecological Services, Research Findings, and Future Steps.” This culminated the research conducted under the project “Increasing Women’s Access to Quality Health Care.”

Marking the sixth and final meeting of the “The Right to Quality Health Care” project, approximately 200 women participated, gaining valuable insights into reproductive health and general gynecological issues.

Gentiana Zeqiri, the Project Coordinator, stated that almost all girls and women who participated in the six conducted training sessions lacked sufficient information regarding their reproductive health and general gynecological issues.

Zeqiri remarked, “Women and girls have virtually no information at all. This was evident even during the project’s initial meeting and has been corroborated by our research on the topic, revealing a very low level of information and health checks conducted by women and girls. Consequently, we proceeded with information sessions where women readily absorbed any information provided by gynecologists. There has been a keen interest and high level of curiosity among women, especially girls, prompting them to ask questions. I believe that the information level has been elevated, and women and girls have gained awareness of the importance of gynecological reproductive health.”

In the municipality of Skenderaj, there is no gynecologist available at all three levels of the health system. Women seek medical attention at Mitrovica hospital and private clinics. Currently, there are approximately six gynecologists in Skenderaj, all of whom operate within private practices. Consequently, this situation has heightened concerns among women and girls, as the availability of services is notably limited. Hana Zabeli, director of the Drugëza organization, said that they have tried to include as many women and girls as possible in every meeting held.

“We have invited different women and girls to various meetings, a total of six that we have conducted, to disseminate information regarding reproductive and gynecological health in general. Five women who had not previously undergone check-ups visited the gynecologist and identified and addressed issues that are now being treated.

Throughout the six meetings within the project, we have provided information to approximately 200 women and girls. They were informed by the gynecologist about various aspects they were interested in and were previously unaware of. Today, the project is completed, and I believe it was one of the most successful projects,” said Mrs. Zabeli.

Ermira Veseli, a participant in the training, expressed that whenever she has attended such meetings, they have been fruitful and highly informative.

“Every time I attended the training, we received valuable information from the gynecologist who served as our trainer. In our early years, due to our mindset, we, as girls, hesitated to visit the gynecologist. There has always been a prevailing prejudice that it is not advisable for young girls to see a gynecologist. However, through these sessions, we have come to understand that even at a young age, it is essential for girls to have gynecological check-ups, receive information about reproductive health, sexually transmitted diseases, and various other topics. Therefore, I believe that these meetings are crucial for girls and women in general,” she said.

Drugëza conducted this activity as a beneficiary of the 18th round of the Kosovo Women’s Fund, supported by the KWN’s Further Advancing Women’s Rights in Kosovo II,” financed by the Austrian Agency for Development (ADA) and co-financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).