North Macedonia Endures Virus, Existing Challenges

Mobile Users: View in landscape (horizontal) for best experience. // All photos by OSCAR B. CASTILLO // North Macedonia is a small nation of some 2 million people. It has been highly affected by the pandemic and has been as high as 6th place worldwide in fatal Covid-19 cases per million people. // Photos taken from January 29 to February 2, 2021

Skopje, North Macedonia: View of the Old Bazaar area on Jan. 30, 2021.

A stretcher is seen before being washed at the main Emergency Medicine Services center in Skopje.

At the Štip Clinical Hospital, Head Nurse Valentina Jovanova is seen in protective equipment while visiting patients in the Covid-19 ward. Jovanova shed some tears while talking about the emotionally demanding and draining past year. She said the most difficult part has been the impossibility of hugging and holding her newborn grandson.

Head Nurse Valentina Jovanova shares a laugh with a Covid-19 patient, Ace Stamenkov, 64, a psychologist who taught Jovanova. Stamenkov was hospitalized for 10 days at the time of the visit and was already recovering.

View of a plastic bottle used for disposal of needles and other medical materials at Štip Clinical Hospital. Supplies and equipment were in short supply at the beginning of the pandemic, but stabilized due to donations and better organization, according to hospital staff. The latest wave has once again stressed inventories.

Head Nurse Valentina Jovanova is seen doing rounds in the Covid ward at Štip Clinical Hospital. Štip is the main administrative center for the eastern part of the country. However, services and materials are in short supply and often in significantly shorter supply than the clinics located in the capital.

Dr. Kristina Shindelar, 32, and EMS driver Viktorio Nikolovski, 47, transport an elderly patient to the emergency room at City General Hospital 8th September. The patient’s set of symptoms included convulsions, difficulty breathing, and fever. He was taken for further examination.

Head Nurse Valentina Jovanova is seen doing rounds in the Covid ward at Štip Clinical Hospital. She is speaking with Lilijana Bozinova, a patient who had been hospitalized for nine days, at the same time with her husband, who also requires dialysis for his chronic kidneys condition.

View of the cross on Vodno mountain.

Skopje’s Old Bazaar area.

Dr. Kristina Shindelar, 32, checks on Jelitza Bladichevska, 82, at a residential family house in the Gjeorce Petrov neighborhood of Skopje after an emergency services call.

View of uniforms drying behind the Mother Teresa University Clinical Center in Skopje.

Dr. Rada Grubovic Rastvorceva, head of the Transfusion Institute of Skopje, after collecting donated convalescent plasma from a recovered Covid-19 patient. The collected convalescent plasma is distributed throughout the country, where needed and appropriate, for treatment of Covid-19 infections.

A doctor prepares medicines and therapies for Covid-19 patients hospitalized at University Clinical Hospital of Skopje’s Neurology Clinic, which is now a Covid-19 treatment center due to a lack of capacity at other Covid-19 wards.

Nurse Jorda Manasievska, 58, is seen in a hospital room, hospitalized with Covid-19. A high percentage of health care workers, and in particular hospital personnel, got infected despite protective measures and protocols.

Nurse Valieta Zanelli, 20, stands for a picture in one of the corridors of the Covid-19 hospitalization area at University Clinical Center Mother Teresa in Skopje. Nurse Zanelli has recovered from Covid-19 and confirmed that many of her colleagues contracted the diseases and have recovered.

View of a landscape of Skopje from the University Clinic of Radiotherapy and Oncology at the University Clinical Center Mother Teresa.

A cancer patient receiving treatment at the University Clinic of Radiotherapy and Oncology, University Clinical Center Mother Teresa in Skopje.

A religious follower sets the candles for prayers during the morning service at Saint Clement Church, the main Orthodox Christian temple in the city of Skopje.

Danica Pahchevska, who recovered from Covid-19, is being discharged from the University Clinic of Infectious Diseases. Pahchevska hugging her son at the exit of the clinic, while Nurses Nuredin Elez (R) and Sara Kamberi (L) assist with her departure.