High number of children in Montenegro do not have access to healthcare and education rights
The Family Caravan initiative by Eurochild member NGO Parents (NVU Roditelji) gathered evidence on the lack of pediatricians, as well as psychologists, speech therapists and special education teachers, the overbooked schools and kindergartens and the insufficient number of teachers across Montenegro.
From September to December 2023, the organisation visited all 25 municipalities in Montenegro and talked about early childhood development rights with families and gathered parents' concerns. Parents also had the opportunity to talk to doctors of the Montenegrin Institute of Public Health about health, early development, immunisation, healthy nutrition and similar early childhood issues.
When it comes to healthcare, the problems are particularly identified in Northern municipalities, in which children have to travel to neighboring municipalities or wait for the scheduled day when the doctor comes to their town to be examined.
The initiative was part of the "Community Mobilization for Immunization and Optimal Development in Early Childhood" project in cooperation with UNICEF, with the financial support of the Delegation of the European Union in Montenegro.
Read the main initiative findings
- Parents from 19 municipalities recognised inadequate health care for children as a key problem, due to lack of pediatricians in the local Primary health care centers.
- Parents from 17 municipalities stated that there is a problem with insufficient number of professional workers in the local Primary health care centers.
- In 5 Northern municipalities there are no pediatricians, which is a long-term problem and there is not enough of them in 14 out of 25 Montenegrin cities.
- Due to the insufficient number of pediatricians, there is also a problem with immunization and regular systematic examinations.
- The parents also stated that medical professionals provide them with contradictory, often negative information regarding vaccines.
- In 10 out of 25 municipalities, parents believe that children do not have conditional kindergartens and school facilities. Overbooking in the pre-school institutions in the Northern municipalities is one of the key problems. Some of the parents' objections also related to the insufficient number of teaching assistants.
- According to parents, the construction of new kindergartens in the municipalities of Ulcinj and Bar, as well as schools in the municipalities of Tivat, Herceg Novi and Podgorica, is urgently needed.
- Some of the pressing problems are the absence of nursery groups in the kindergartens in the municipalities of Šavnik and Andrijevica and not a single functional gymnasium in Andrijevica, while in the municipality of Petnjica, children can stay only until noon in the kindergarten, which is part of the primary school.
Based on all the findings from the Family Caravan initiative, the NGO Parents, as the voice of the parents’ community in Montenegro, will in the coming period advocate even more strongly for solving identified problems, especially in the field of health and education, so that all children have adequate conditions for growing up.