Note: the texts under all the headings, with the exception of 'Results achieved', describe the situation before the start of the project.
The health of mothers and children
Switzerland is supporting the continuing training of medical personnel and the modernisation of antiquated hospital infrastructures in 27 Lithuanian hospitals, and increasing energy efficiency in at least 24 of them. These measures will greatly improve overall conditions for women in childbirth and for their newborn babies.
Improving social security
- Pregnant women and maternal mortality rate down to 5.36 (per 1000 live births), neonatal mortality rate down to 2.63.
- 20’000 delivering women have access to upgraded quality services.
- Improved patients’ satisfaction with conditions in hospital.
- Medical staff working in perinatal and neonatal sectors
- Pregnant women
- Delivering women
- Neonates and infants
- Medical equipment will be improved in 22 hospitals
- Special transport vehicles for newborns are being provided for three hospitals located in isolated areas
- Specialists are being trained in the use of modern technologies
- Diagnosis and treatment guidelines are being developed to standardise and systematise the most important pathological conditions
- A comprehensive database of patient data is being developed
- Recent patient satisfaction surveys showed that patient satisfaction has almost doubled compared with 2010 (28% in 2010 and 47% in 2014). With improved medical equipment in 27 hospitals, the mortality rate amongst pregnant women, mothers and new-borns is declining
- 24 hospitals (out of 27) have received part of the necessary modern medical equipment (monitoring the status of new-borns, incubators, anaesthesia apparatus, ultrasound equipment, warmed new-born reanimation tables, etc.)
- 3 (out of 9) hospitals completed repair works
- 70 guidelines and protocols on diagnostics and treatment in obstetrics and neonatology developed
- 1376 participants (versus 1300 planned) have improved their professional competence and their skills in using modern technology
- Central State of South East
Birth rate in Lithuania has been decreasing since 1992. In 2006 it was reported at 9.2 per 1’000 inhabitants (one of the lowest in the EU), but the rate of infant mortality was 6.84 deaths per 1’000 live births. Perinatal mortality - 7.26 deaths per 1’000 live births - and the neonatal mortality rate stood at 3.92 per 1’000 live births. These rates are well above EU average rates, which are 5.06, 6.16 and 3.33 accordingly. Most of infants (37 %) died from diseases that emerged during the perinatal period while 34 % died from congenital defects. Therefore, the National Health Programme of Lithuania requires that special attention must be given to the reduction of the infant mortality rate. The measures envisaged by this Programme will contribute towards achieving the level of health related indicators reported by EU 15 countries.
The overall objective of the Programme is to meet the World Health Organisation’s recommendations, EU directives and international standards regarding neonatal and perinatal health care services in Lithuania.
Specific objectives are to reach:
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
Swiss Contribution to the enlarged EU
Foreign state institution
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 26'600'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 26'562'644|
Phase 1 01.11.2011 - 14.06.2017 (Completed)
Medical equipment will be improved in 27 hospitals.
Special transport vehicles for newborns are being provided for three hospitals located in isolated areas.
1376 specialists are being trained in the use of modern technologies.
70 diagnosis and treatment guidelines are being developed to standardise and systematise the most important pathological conditions.
A comprehensive database of patient data is being developed.
The highest priority was improved thermal insulation. To this end, doors, windows, roofs and walls are being renovated or replaced.
The hospitals' building technology – heating and water supply systems, electrical installations, air supply and ventilation – is being modernised. The installation of heat pumps and solar collectors will enable the use of renewable energy.
The medical oxygen supply systems are being improved.
Energy efficiency, modern equipment and well trained hospital personnel in Lithuania
Despite enormous progress in the Lithuanian healthcare system since the early 1990s, the infant and maternal mortality rates in Lithuania were in 2010 still higher than the European average. The healthcare system was well organised, but its infrastructure and equipment were inadequate – a situation that affected both basic equipment and the use of new medical technologies.
Energy efficiency also had some catching up to do: most Lithuanian hospitals were built between 1960 and 1980 to the Soviet standard of the time. Their outdated machines consumed a great deal of energy and the buildings were poorly insulated.
Reducing infant and maternal mortality
The following measures will help reduce the mortality rates of pregnant women, mothers and newborns:
Energy efficiency increased and operating costs reduced
Lithuania's geographical location means extreme temperature fluctuations, from hot days in summer to the icy cold of winter. Thanks to improved building insulation, women in childbirth and their newborn babies enjoy better conditions, hospital operating costs are reduced and environmental protection is being promoted. The following measures for improving energy efficiency were taken in 24 of the 27 hospitals mentioned above:
Continuity of support
Switzerland's present support has its roots in Swiss transition assistance provided during the 1990s, which brought about substantive improvements in the health of mothers and children in Lithuania and was received very positively there. Hospital partnerships between Switzerland and Lithuania are therefore being developed and expanded as part of the project.
When Lithuania’s smallest baby girl was born she weighed just 420 grams. She is now a schoolgirl. The life journey of this “Thumbelina” started in the Neonatal Intensive Care Department of Vilnius University Children’s Hospital, which bears a logo indicating the support provided by Switzerland to Lithuania. It was in the period from 1992 to 1994 when Switzerland began to provide aid for the health of Lithuanian babies and their mothers by supporting eight medical institutions.