The maternity hospital in Petrova Street in the capital of Zagreb was on Tuesday officially declared child-friendly by UNICEF.
In order to be granted the status of a child-friendly institution, this hospital revamped the building so as to enable newborn babies to be with their mothers around the clock.
During the ceremony, the hospital director Slavko Oreskovic warned about a decrease in the number of deliveries conducted in this institution, and about a declining birth rate hitting Croatia.
According to Oreskovic, last year deliveries performed in this hospital stood at 3998, which is 1,500 fewer than the average in the previous years. The average numbers were 5,500 deliveries and even 6,500 per year in the past,
Last year, the number of deliveries throughout Croatia fell below 40,000, Oreskovic told reporters, warning that if the current birth rate retains, Croatia's population will shrink by a million in 50 years' time. The 2011 census showed that Croatia had 4.28 million inhabitants then.
The United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has so far awarded the status of child-friendly institution to 31 maternity clinics in Croatia.