The Association National Roma Centrum (NRC) from Kumanovo, today on the town square with a creative artistic action attracted the attention of passers-by for the (in) appropriate access of pregnant women to gynecological services. In this way, NRC actualizes the problem of better access of pregnant women and mothers to free health services.The aim of the action is to update the problems in public and to send a message to the authorities to provide better access to pregnant women for gynecological services, because 74 percent of Romani women pay for free check-ups during pregnancy, although all pregnant women and mothers are entitled to free health services. The performance on the square is with the installation of baby strollers, and after the action they will be donated to socially disadvantaged families, ie pregnant women and mothers, and the designed messages are based on everyday events, personal experiences, life stories conveyed through written messages with emphasis. of problems with face pregnant women in accessing gynecological services – said Qani Mustafovski from NRC.

Passers-by and other actors had the opportunity to read the messages and see directly what problems pregnant women face, especially with the payment of free examinations during pregnancy, the abuse of a free echo examination that costs 300 denars, microbiological swabs 300 denars and the collection for a mother book, 500 denars or a package for a pregnant woman costs 1,100 denars.

In order to respond to the need for access to health care, the Government of the Republic of Northern Macedonia every year adopts one-year prevention programs, realized through public health institutions. The program for active health care of mothers and children in the Republic of Northern Macedonia was adopted in order to continuously improve the health of children and women in the reproductive period. Special focus is placed on vulnerable groups of the population (Romani women, women from rural areas, women from socially vulnerable categories). The program is implemented through coordinated implementation of essential public health services,Executors include several health institutions (Public Health Centers, Health Centers, hospitals) and citizens’ associations – says Mustafovski.NRC together with the Association for Development and Promotion of the Roma Community Romano чиaпеipe (Skopje), IRIZ – Initiative for Development and Inclusion of Communities (Skopje), Association for Legal Education and Transparency STANICA PET. (Prilep), the Center for Contemporary Arts from Skopje and the Foundation Open Society Macedonia, in the municipality of Kumanovo conducted a creative artistic action for better access of pregnant women to gynecological services.

The Constitution guarantees universal access to health care for all citizens, and the law on health care and the Law on Health Insurance ensure equality in access to health facilities while respecting the right to equality of all citizens, explained the NRC.

However, despite a number of laws, bylaws and programs adopted by the Ministry of Health, citizens daily in exercising their rights guaranteed by law, encounter problems because the laws are insufficiently precise – ambiguous and applied differently in practice by institutions which are implemented, explains the executive manager of NRC, Asmet Elezovski.

Mothers should be fully protected and, according to the law, family doctors receive funds for examinations. But they still charge. We reacted several times at the level of Kumanovo and at the level of the state and not only for Romani women, in general for all women they said – says Elezovski.

Although, the measures provided in the programs for free gynecological examinations of pregnant women, however, gynecologists charge them, say the NRC, where they add that the estimates of the World Health Organization, note that the cause of death is consequence of complications during pregnancy and childbirth, which 94 percent of women who lost their lives come from countries with low economic development.

The percentage of unused free gynecological examinations of pregnant women is high, submitted NRC data according to which the unused is between 74 and 90 percent, according to their research, non-utilization of free laboratory examinations for pregnant women during pregnancy. There is also a tendency for unused free folic acid for every pregnant woman to reach up to 95 percent.