Given the lack of knowledge about osteoporosis among the elderly in Kosovo, and the diseases’ difficult to observe nature, Vita-Jeta (“Life”), an association of approximately 850 retired women, launched an information campaign about the disease. They organized a lecture about osteoporosis and provided free of charge medical exams for diagnosing the disease.
“Even though I was once a nurse, I never realized I was suffering from osteoporosis,” said Remzije Pireva, a Vita-Jeta member. “It was only through Vita-Jeta that I took the initiative to do the test for diagnosing it.” Since then, she has followed the doctor’s orders and taken the recommended medicine. “Now I am feeling much better,” she said.

Remzije was among 243 retired women tested for osteoporosis by Vita-Jeta. Through these free exams, nearly one-third of the women learnt that they suffered from osteoporosis. Like Remzije, some have received treatment thanks to Vita-Jeta representatives who convinced a local pharmacy to provide free medication to retirees living in poor economic conditions.
“We are very keen to offer the same possibility to all members of our NGO,” said Ajshe Nuhiu who leads Vita-Jeta. Such free screening and medication can be crucial for elderly persons living in Kosovo, many of whom struggle to survive in dire economic conditions.

Vita-Jeta also assists its members with doctor-prescribed therapies. “Since they are members of our NGO and attend regularly our meetings, it is easy for us to see if they are following the medical advice that they have received,” said Ajshe Nuhiu.

Due to Vita-Jeta’s accomplishments in only two months, 500 of the association’s members are knocking on their door, hoping that they too can receive this diagnostic test. Vita-Jeta’s awareness-raising efforts have successfully educated their members about the importance of the test.

Vita-Jeta representatives say that they will apply to the Kosovo Women’s Fund again so that they can build on this success and provide similar services to more members. They also plan to seek funding from other possible sources, using their new fundraising skills, developed with support from KWN staff.