Health care in rural areas

The Ministry of Health has started the implementation of a project entitled Rural doctor, that is focused on increasing the availability of health services for the citizens that do not have a direct access to primary-level health services, and for which, a continuous medical care is not provided within their own places of residence. 

 Therefore, the implementation of this project has already included 35 medical teams that visit 847 places, according to a predefined schedule, and provide basic health care for the rural areas residents. The number of included medical teams will continuously increase in order to reach the anticipated number of 106 teams that would be allocated within all rural areas respectively, in a certain part of the day. 

 Within such a rural area, the Macedonian journal Dnevnik, has made a journalistic story of one 80-year old resident of the village of Brodec, near Skopje. The journalistic story is integrally presented below. 



 Although she lives only about 20 miles from Skopje in Brodec, Grozdana Pesic in 80 years has not measured blood pressure and sugar level, and has no health card nor chosen physician.

She says she has never been to any dentist nor gynecologist.

– What kind of doctor? I haven’t been to one and there is no need. My teeth were falling by their own and in my life , I haven’t repaired any . Sometimes I would feel blank, but that is all. But as I get up at 5 o’clock in the morning, I do not stop . I work around the house first . I do not sit down all day . I’m still walking across the mountain, and I often have to chase out the cattle with a stick, that are coming from Ljubanci not to do damage in my yard. ” I was all in sweat” the other day when I came back – she reveals the secret of long life, grandmother Grozdana, that the only device she uses is a walking stick.

The curiosity and unusual “diagnosis” of this 80-year-old woman was discovered by doctors from Health Center – Skopje, which of January go every day in Skopje’s villages where there is no regular health care in order to provide basic medical examinations for the residents. Measuring her blood pressure and sugar level, Grozdana confided that it was for the first time, and the medical team was pleasantly surprised when established normal values.

– This is really rare to encounter, especially in people of this age, and we were amazed when she told us she haven’t measured any blood pressure nor sugar level and has not drunk any pills. Probably her lifestyle contributed to this woman so many years not to have a  need of a physician, she is very mobile, and eats a little food and non caloric – says Dr. Rumjanka Stoyanovska, specialist in school medicine at polyclinic in Chair.

And the second measure yesterday showed normal values – blood pressure 130/80, the sugar level was 6.1 moles per liter. When we asked what food does she eat and does she eat pork, grandmother Grozdana says:

– No pork or any other meat. I do not eat eggs nor do I drink milk. For breakfast, I have a bite of bread with jam and often it is my only meal of the day. I eat beans, rice, peppers, tomatoes, which I also grow them in the garden, but sometimes they don’t come good. I do not drink any tea or brandy – said Grozdana, who warned us’ “spit on me, not to give me a bad eye”.

She still eats the bread she makes it herself and tells that she just finished first grade, when her father took her out of school , but says she knows how to read and sign . There is a TV in her house that has no signal, and radio, but she rarely hears it. From the personalities of public life, she remembers only Kiro Gligorov, the former president, and now says she does not know who is the president nor prime minister. Grozdana has never been married, and besides neighbors her nephews are visiting, the children of her brother. When we asked when is her birthday and when exactly she is born, she knows the year – 1934, but not the day and month.

– I was born when harvesting, so my mother used to say – remembers Grozdana.


Her neighbor Vera Pankovska tells:

– Grozdana moves a lot, she is always on the run, and if I bring her something to eat, she is waiting for me to come again and to eat it together. In winter she greets me with baked apples. Before she kept chickens, now not even that – says Pankovska that although is 10 years younger, her blood pressure was higher than the one of grandmother Grozdana – 150 to 85, and sugar level – 6.9.

Ljubica Balaban

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