Sheikha Fatima to sponsor UAE-funded children’s hospital in Kosovo

Children’s surgical centre in Kosovo adds to the legacy of Sheikh Zayed in assisting people of war-scarred Balkans country.

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ABU DHABI // The Republic of Kosovo has awarded Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak the Mother Teresa Humanitarian Medal in appreciation for her constant commitment to improving people’s living conditions across the world.

Under the directives of Sheikha Fatima, chairwoman of the General Women’s union and widow of founding President Sheikh Zayed, a UAE-funded children’s hospital will be built in Pristina, capital of Kosovo.

The announcement of the children’s surgical centre at the Centre for Development of Family Medicine was made at a signing ceremony between Saeed Al Ghafli, head of the Department of Municipal Affairs and a member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, and Atifete Jahjaga, president of Kosovo.

The event was attended by notables including Dr Maitha Al Shamsi, Minister of State and adviser to Sheikha Fatima, and Hafsa Al Ulama, UAE ambassador to Montenegro and non-resident ambassador to Kosovo.

The agreement advances the interests of Sheikha Fatima, who is president of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, to provide health care for the children of Kosovo.

The building will be named after Sheikha Fatima and will provide modern healthcare services, said Mr Al Ghafli.

Sheikha Fatima said in a statement: “I would like to laud the efforts of the president of the Kosovo Republic, Atifete Jahjaga, aimed at achieving the development goals.”

Ms Jahjaga said: “We also have a hospital which carries the name of the father of this country, Sheikh Zayed, opened immediately after the war in Kosovo in 1999.

“This hospital which we are about to start in our country is going to be named after Her Highness Sheikha Fatima.”

She spoke of the strong relations between the countries, particularly the assistance offered by the UAE during and after the Kosovo war in 1999.

“Sixteen years ago, we had a war where we had over 10,000 people killed and over 20,000 women suffered sexual violence,” said Ms Jahjaga.

She praised Sheikha Fatima’s role as “crucial to support the women and children in Kosovo during the time of the war, when our mothers and children were at refugee camps, particularly in Albania”.

Ms Jahjaga added that the paediatric hospital was an enormous show of support for the people of Kosovo.

Dr Al Shamsi said humanitarian initiatives were a priority for Sheikha Fatima, who “is keen on implementing development projects across many world countries”.

The UAE had special ties with Kosovo, and many UAE initiatives were launched by Sheikh Zayed and the President, Sheikh Khalifa.

“There is a project to build Sheikh Khalifa Hospital in Kosovo, and today as part of an initiative from Sheikha Fatima, an agreement has been signed to build a children’s surgical hospital in Kosovo’s capital city, Pristina,” said Dr Al Shamsi.

“This shows the progress that the UAE has made in the field of humanitarian assistance, and its continued willingness to give aid to many countries across the world, including in the health care sector.”

The UAE has not forgotten Kosovo, said Ms Al Ulama.

“It helped build the best hospital in Kosovo, which was named after Sheikh Zayed, to pay tribute to the founder of the UAE,” she said. “Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak supports the causes of women across the world through initiatives and projects that Arab women can be proud of.”