- More than 6,000 newborns with serious health conditions are admitted annually to level III neonatal intensive care units.
- The Vodafone Romania Foundation has invested over 5 million euros in equipping and modernizing multiple neonatal intensive care units over the last 10 years.
- Telemedicine in neonatology wards represents an extra chance at life for newborns and makes the medical procedure easier. The Vodafone Romania Foundation continues the public fundraising campaign to modernize as many neonatal compartments and wards as possible in the context of our country having the highest infant mortality rate in the European Union (EU), with 5.6 deaths per 1,000 live births, well above the EU infant mortality rate of 3.4 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Bucharest, 27th of April 2023 – 17 level III neonatal intensive care units in Romania will be connected to the national telemedicine network following a major investment made by the Vodafone Romania Foundation. The medical teams in these units will be able to quickly connect with specialists from other units in the country and abroad. Thus, a doctor outside the hospital can intervene and remotely supervise the medical act, with real-time access to the health status of the newborn.
The project is financed by the Vodafone Romania Foundation, within the „Life for Newborns Fund” program, and is run by ACV Romania. The value of the investment is 250,000 euros.
The 17 departments newly included in the telemedicine network are located in key hospitals in Bucharest (Filantropia Maternity, Grigore Alexandrescu Children’s Hospital, the Institute for Mother and Child Protection with Polizu Maternity and the Pediatric Department, „Sf. Pantelimon” Emergency Clinical Hospital, „Dr. I. Cantacuzino” Clinical Hospital, „Sf. Ioan” Emergency Clinical Hospital, „Prof. Dr. Panait Sârbu” Obstetrics-Gynecology Clinical Hospital, Emergency University Hospital); Bacău (Bacău Emergency County Hospital); Galati („Sf. Apostol Andrei” Galați Emergency Clinical County Hospital); Oradea (Oradea Emergency Clinical County Hospital); Sibiu (Sibiu Emergency Clinical County Hospital); Suceava („Sf. Ioan cel Nou” Suceava Emergency County Hospital); Târgovişte (Târgovişte Emergency County Hospital); Timișoara (Timișoara Emergency Clinical County Hospital and „Pius Brânzeu” Emergency Clinical County Hospital through the Obstetrics-Gynecology section „Dr. Dumitru Popescu”).
Through the telemedicine system, doctors can quickly connect with specialists from other health facilities located in the country or abroad, can transmit secure medical data, can debate a diagnosis, and ask for a second opinion, can decide if the patient should be transferred to a higher-level unit or can be treated in the ward where located. This information exchange speeds medical decision-making for the more than 6,000 newborns with critical medical conditions admitted annually to level III wards, for whom time is often a critical factor that can make the difference between life and death.
„In the almost 10 years since we have been involved in the modernization and equipment of intensive care units for newborns, infant mortality in Romania has decreased from 9.8 to 5.6 per thousand. These numbers and the touching stories we hear from the medical staff we collaborate with in the program motivate us to continue interventions in the area of neonatology and neonatal intensive care. Our goal is to ensure access to quality medical services and equal treatment opportunities for all newborns with serious health problems, regardless of where they are born. Anyone can help the steps taken by the Vodafone Romania Foundation to equip the wards where newborns are taken care of by donating 2 euros, with an SMS with the text RITM sent to the number 8845, through an online donation made at https://fundatia-vodafone.ro/tine-romania-in-viata/ or by redirecting 3.5% of the annual tax due by completing the online form 230 https://fundatia-vodafone.ro/redirectioneaza/, respectively direct sponsorships for companies”, said Angela Galeța, director of the Vodafone Romania Foundation.
Until this project, there were 10 neonatal intensive care units equipped with telemedicine systems in Romania, three of them (Marie Curie Hospital in Bucharest, Constanța County Hospital and Mureș Clinical County Hospital) equipped through programs of the Vodafone Romania Foundation. By adding another 17 level III neonatal intensive care units to the existing telemedicine network, all 25 level III units and two level II units in the country will be connected to each other, thus ensuring an optimal communication framework between the 27 wards.
„The telemedicine solution implemented through our project is a secure video conferencing system, in which medical devices for investigation and monitoring of the patient can be connected, thus allowing real-time remote evaluations for second opinion, preparing of the medical team that receives a patient by transfer, reducing the time until the appropriate treatment is instituted for each individual case. This project is a very important first step, with serious cases being transferred to these level III wards. A common telemedicine network between all neonatal intensive care units in the country will help to significantly reduce unnecessary transfers, reduce the time to institute appropriate treatment for each critical newborn and facilitate the exchange of experience between neonatologists. The final objective of our project is to connect all neonatology wards and the main surgical wards where newborns have surgeries”, said Delia Vasiliu, president of ACV Romania.
In the last 10 years, the Vodafone Romania Foundation has carried out projects worth over 5 million euros for the construction, modernization and equipment of neonatology and intensive care units for newborns throughout the country: the construction and equipment of the neonatal intensive care unit at the Marie Curie Hospital in Bucharest, the renovation and modernization of the neonatal intensive care unit at the Constanța County Hospital, and the equipment with specialized gear of the neonatology wards and the neonatal intensive care units in Botoșani, Caransebeș, Craiova, Mediaș, Slatina and Târgu Mureș.
To supplement the existing budget and expand the „Life for Newborns Fund” program in as many medical units as possible, the Vodafone Romania Foundation continues its fund-raising campaign addressing both the general public and companies. Ways to donate to the program are available on the Life for Newborns Fund donation page.
The „Life for Newborns Fund ” is a program of the Vodafone Romania Foundation intended for the renovation, modernization, and equipment with medical gear of neonatology departments and sections in public hospitals throughout the country.
Romania has the highest infant mortality rate in the European Union (EU), with 5.6 deaths per 1,000 live births, almost double the infant mortality rate in the EU, which is 3.4 deaths per 1,000 live births. Only in 14 cities in the country, where there are wards of level III, equipped with the necessary gear for intensive therapy, newborns with major problems can receive adequate care. High-risk newborns cannot be treated in the remaining 169 Level I and Level II neonatology wards and units and must be transferred to Level III wards. For some of them, the transfer means a delay in medical intervention and can have fatal consequences. At the same time, places in units with level III nursing skills in neonatology are limited and can take cases only according to availability.
About the Vodafone Romania Foundation
For the last 25 years we have been pooling our resources and those of our partners to build together inclusive and sustainable projects. We call on technology and social innovation investing annually around 2 million euros in the development of disadvantaged communities in Romania. We modernize neonatal intensive care units and support digital education programs that prepare children and young people for the jobs of the future. Together with the other Vodafone Foundations around the world, we aim to improve the lives of over 400 million people by 2025.
We are a Romanian non-governmental organization established in 1998, with charitable status, distinct and independent from the commercial operations of Vodafone. To find out more about our projects access www.fundatia-vodafone.ro, http://jurnaldebine.fundatia-vodafone.ro/ and www.facebook.com/fundatiavodafone.
About ACV Romania/ Cristi Vasiliu Association
We wake up every day determined to use our resources to create a world where as many children as possible have the chance to live long and healthy lives. We, at ACV Romania, believe that all lives have the same value. And we believe that people, groups, and organizations have a greater positive impact and can achieve more when they do things together.
We want to help reduce the number of children who die each year before their 1st birthday. We do this by equipping and modernizing neonatal intensive care units in Romania, but also through the construction project from scratch of a new neonatal intensive care unit in Târgu-Mureș. You can find out more about us and our projects at www.acvromania.ro.