Even if you can’t pinpoint Moldova on a map, North Carolina has a special link to the tiny, land-locked nation. In 1999, a few years after the Cold War ended, each state in the U.S. was assigned a former Communist country as a Peace Partner, and Moldova is N.C.’s. Through that special program, New Hanover Regional Medical Center is working with the N.C. Secretary of State’s office to aid Moldova and further strengthen Moldovan-American relations.
You may not have heard of Moldova, a small country in Eastern Europe, that has been a part of the Russian Empire and a part of Romania. Despite finally winning its independence in 1991, it has been plagued by political turmoil and is the poorest economy in Europe. While there is great poverty in the region, Moldova has a highly educated population with a 99.1% literacy rate according to the CIA World Factbook, and many bi- or even tri-lingual citizens.
We have been working with Moldova to improve their medical education by sending over representatives and donations of medical books and medical equipment. NHRMC’s Mission Ready program collects medical supplies and donates them worldwide to organizations in need. Some of these supplies are currently headed to Moldova’s hospitals, as well as to the Medical Library at the State Medical and Pharmaceutical University which is the only medical school in Moldova.
NHRMC and SEAHEC’s Medical Library Director, Donna Flake, has been instrumental in strengthening NHRMC’s role in the Moldova partnership. She has made four trips to the impoverished nation to teach courses to medical librarians and will be returning on April 17 for a fifth.
In early March, the N.C. Secretary of State’s office, along with the National Guard, picked up a truckload of medical supplies and medical books that NHRMC collected to send to Moldova.
The medical books from the NHRMC library have improved the quality of medical education at the Medical School. Before the partnership, Moldova’s Medical Library consisted of outdated Soviet medical books.
The medical supplies provide Moldovan doctors and hospitals with a great resource that helps them better treat their patients.
Next time you hear about Russia in the news, you can imagine little Moldova to its west, just past the Ukraine, and know that NHRMC has made a difference in the lives of the people there.