DRC and health institutions In Mitrovicë/a raise awareness to combat lead poisoning

DRC with the support of local NGOs and the Main Center of Family Medicine in Mitrovicë/a (MCFMM), has been engaged in efforts to combat the dangers of lead poisoning faced by the community in Roma Mahalla, Mitrovicë/a through testing, treatment and prevention through awareness raising.

In May 2016, NGO PRAM and the Main Center of Family Medicine in Mitrovicë/a (MCFMM), with support of DRC organized blood tests for children of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities to assess lead levels. In the first round tests were conducted by MCFMM in Roma Mahalla and in 65 children found elevated levels of lead in their blood. Medications were given by MCFMM to decrease it.

Later another round of tests was performed, and only 9 out of 65 children tested showed elevated levels of lead in their blood. MCFMM will try to find free medicaments for these nine children.

In December 2016, DRC in cooperation with MCFMM held a lecture about "Prevention and protection from exposure of lead in the blood" for children of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Mitrovicë/a. Most of the participants were from the “Football school” subproject, implemented by local NGO PRAM. The lecture was held at the Learning Centre in Roma Mahalla in Mitrovicë/a. NGO PRAM one of DRC’s local partners, works with 40 children from Roma Mahalla and 2 Korriku/Sitnicko Naselje that participate twice per week in trainings at the local football stadium.

To include parents in prevention efforts MCFMM hosted a follow-up lecture with the same topic where 19 parents participated. OSCE representatives from Mitrovicë/a regional center were also present at the event.

Mrs. Sabrije Uka, the health educator engaged by the Centre said to the participants: “You should take care of the environment where you live so that children can have a place to play, continue going to school and get higher education”.  Also Mr. Milaim Ramadani, PRAM Project Manager pointed out that “PRAM’s vision is to improve living conditions of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian youth and children in Mitrovicë/a by helping them become active citizens. He stressed the urgency to find medications free of charge for the 9 children in need, and appealed for an urgent action to anyone who could support them”.

The subproject ‘Football School’ is implemented by PRAM within the “Support to Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Mitrovicë/a” project, financed by the Swedish Government.