Interview: Challenges and improvement of Kosovan midwifery

Nexhmije Derguti. Photo: Kaltrina Abazi

Nexhmije Derguti. Photo: Kaltrina Abazi

As a part of Midwives4all, the Embassy of Sweden in Kosovo wish to highlight the importance of midwifery in the country. Read the interview with Nexhmije Derguti, a midwife working in the municipality of Ferizaj in Kosovo.

Nexhmije has worked as a midwife since 1987. Today, she works at the regional hospital in Ferizaj municipality and within the private sector. She began working as a midwife because she wanted to take part of the process from the moment a woman is pregnant to when a child is born. She finds spiritual joy in helping expectant mothers through birth and caring for the newborn babies. Nexhmije finds inspiration in the mothers’ gratitude towards her and the staff after birth, but also when she helps to deliver healthy children, and ensure that they remain healthy. Although there is a lack of space and some utensils which sometimes complicates her work, she finds motivation in the mothers to be.

– The compensation is not at the level it should be compared with the work that we do. I have to have two jobs in order to live a mediocre life. But I love my job and the mothers motivate me. We are a good working team who work here at the hospital and I am very happy here, Nexhmije says.

The day for Nexhmije and many other midwives at the hospital in Ferizaj begins with the shift-change. The shift-change takes place at 15:00 every day and they start with receiving pregnant women for medical appointments. Meanwhile, they also receive emergency cases brought to the hospital by ambulance. Nexhmije assists the doctor during childbirths, monitors the women’s condition after birth and follows-up the infants’ health status, according to the doctor’s recommendations. Previously, the hospital had the means to give counseling to the public about contraception and family planning. As a result of the lack of space, it is no longer possible to offer this type of open reception, but the counseling is instead provided during the booked medical appointments.

Nexhmije points out that there are some challenges in her work, particularly in terms of lack of basic utensils. Her hope is that the hospital environment will maintain a better standard in the future so that the women can feel more comfortable. However, there are certain areas of midwifery practice that has improved since the end of war. Today, the pregnant women who receive care from the midwives, are well informed about each stage of their pregnancy and childbirth, and can often understand and follow the recommendations given by the doctor. The women who come to the hospital in Ferizaj receive free medical care which includes everything that is related to the pregnancy itself, the birth and the care after the birth.

Nexhmije stresses the importance of a good reception at the maternity ward:

– A woman never forgets the childbirth and it is often strongly linked with the reception that they receive from midwives and the other staff at the hospital. Therefore, it is important that we treat them in the best possible way. I have met women who many years after giving birth, have shown gratitude and appreciation to me and the staff that helped them through childbirth, Nexhmije says.


Text and photo:
Kaltrina Abazi
Intern, Embassy of Sweden in Kosovo