Moldova is a landlocked country bordering Ukraine and Romania in Eastern Europe. Moldova is considered one of the poorest countries in Europe. 20.8% of the population are considered to be below the poverty line. 4
Female life expectancy at birth is 75 years and male life expectancy 66 years.1 A national health insurance scheme only covers the bare minimum. Hospitals provide beds for patients, yet all essentials from bed sheets to medication have to be paid for by the patients and their families.
Since independence in 1991 rates of both communicable and non-communicable diseases have increased. An estimated 89% of all deaths are caused by NCDs.1
Cancer is the second highest cause for death after cardiovascular diseases. High consumption levels of alcohol and tobacco in Moldova are of importance when considering recent scientific research into the association between these two substances and certain cancer types. 6
In 2014, Moldova had yet to introduce a national, population based cancer registry.1 ?The country only has one specialised centre for cancer diagnosis and treatment, namely the Oncology Institute of Moldova.5
Cancer incidence and mortality rates in men are highest in lung cancer, followed by large bowel and prostate cancers. 22% of men with lung cancer die from it.2
Breast cancer has both the highest incidence and mortality rates amongst Moldovan women, incidence rates of large bowl and cervical cancer are also very high. 20% of women who have breast cancer die from it. 2
Coram Deo is a registered charity based in the capital of Moldova, Chisinau. Their aim is to support the impoverished and needy people of Moldova. Working closely with international charities such as Krebsallianz from Germany and Medical Teams International from the USA, they provide medical assistance to poverty stricken people throughout all of Moldova. Their help reaches public hospitals, clinics and other local humanitarian organisations.
Krebsallianz has been serving the people of Moldova in alliance with Coram Deo for over 5 years. We have provided hundreds of patients in hospitals (such as the Mother-Child Hospital and the Cancer Hospital both in Chisinau) with crucial medicines. The strong ties between Krebsallianz and Coram Deo benefit many people in need throughout the country. Krebsallianz focuses on supporting those suffering from a non-communicable disease, such as cancer or haemophilia. Not only does it donate financially, but also offers many medical donations to treat sepcific conditions. One particular special cause that Krebsallianz has chosen to support in the past are children suffering from Haemophilia. Medicines are very hard to come by in Moldova, especially ones so specific to treat haemophilia, Krebsallianz made it a priority to supply this drug to the necessary patients. Another specific cause in recent years has been supporting the children of the leukemia ward. The ward receives donations from Krebsallianz as well as other charities, yet they are still missing vital equipment. Previous years have seen Krebsallianz and Coram Deo put on a christmas party for the in-house patients who have to live on the ward for sometimes up to a year at a time. Donations have included vital infusion tubes and a very sought after medicine, Oncaspar.
The situation in Moldova
Lung cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer and skin cancer are the cancers with the highes prevalence in men whereas breast cancer, colon cancer and cervical cancer are precedent amongst female rates.
On the whole in 2014 the mortality rates from cancerous tumors were as follows:
1) Colorectal cancer 12.5%;
2) Breast cancer 10.8%;
3) Lung Cancer 9.9%;
4) Skin cancer 9.8%.
81.5% of the expenditure on health care came from humanitarian aid.
The basic package of free healthcare is limited to emergency assistance and treatment and treatment for acute illness. However, different medical organisations take varied views on what procedures are offered and where.
Financing of Moldovan healthcare is predominantly done through taxation, but there are pilot plans in operation whereby employers pay a flat rate contribution to a healthcare fund for each person they employ
Medicines are in short supply; shortages exist for antibiotics, anaesthetics, analgesics, medicine to treat tuberculosis and drugs used in oncology amongst others.
Despite a sharp decline in poverty, however, Moldova remains one of the poorest countries in Europe. The most vulnerable groups at risk of poverty in Moldova remain those with low education levels, households with three or more children, those in rural areas, families relying on self-employment, the elderly, and Roma.
Chisinau Str. N.Titulescu 6 Tel: (+37322) 531403
- Kenneth D. Miller, Miklos Simon Global perspectives on cancer: Incidence, Care, and Experience Greenwood publishing group 2015
- Graham A. Colditz The SAGE encyclopedia of cancer and society SAGE Publications