The European Union donated valuable medical equipment to the Cantonal Hospital “Dr. Irfan Ljubijankić” in Bihać

At the handover ceremony of a valuable donation provided by the European Union, the Head of the EU Delegation and the EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ambassador Johann Sattler, on 13 April 2023 officially handed over a cystoscope to the Children’s Surgery Department of the Cantonal Hospital “Dr. Irfan Ljubijankić” in Bihać.

The cystoscope, worth around 30,000 KM, will be used in the treatment of the youngest patients who had to be previously transported to Sarajevo for cystoscopy examinations due to the lack of this instrument in the Una-Sana Canton. Except for the Department of Pediatric Surgery, the cystoscope will also be used in the Department of General Surgery.

Head of the Department of Pediatric Surgery and Specialist in Pediatric Surgery, dr Damir Čirić, emphasized that until now, fifteen of the youngest patients had to be sent to Sarajevo for cystoscopy each month but that the donated equipment will enable such medical examinations from now on to be done in Bihać.

We continue to provide health services to children from the canton, but also to everyone who needs our help. The case of a 14-year-old girl from Pakistan who was housed in the temporary reception center Borići and whose tumor we successfully removed is particularly memorable to me. We continue to help everyone in need, as our duty requires. Thank you to everyone who has recognized our efforts and donated medical equipment for further work,” said Dr. Čirić.

Head of the EU Delegation and EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Hercegovina Ambassador Johann Sattler said that the donation of this equipment is part of a larger project worth 2 million euros to help social cohesion in local communities that have received large numbers of migrants.

 “The European Union worked closely with the local communities on the improvement of public lighting, roads, renovation of public services and other initiatives jointly identified by citizens and institutions. Citizens of Una-Sana Canton and Bihać itself have shown their big heart and understanding over the last years, including in difficult times. We continuously work on strengthening the capacities of health care institutions in Bihać and other municipalities in Una Sana Canton for the benefits of all people in these communities,” said Ambassador Sattler.

The equipment was provided through a project “Bosnia and Herzegovina: Enhancing Social Cohesion in Communities Hosting People on the Move”, funded by the European Union and implemented in the Una-Sana and Sarajevo Canton by the International Organization for Migration in Bosnia and Herzegovina (IOM).

The Health Centre Bihac and Cantonal Hospital Dr. Irfan Ljubijankić have been actively involved in providing primary health care to migrants for a number of years while also ensuring the local population continues to receive necessary care. The UN in Bosnia and Herzegovina is proud to contribute to their efforts and we are confident that this donation of a cystoscope will enable the hospital to upgrade its infrastructure, which will benefit the entire community with improved healthcare services. Access to healthcare is a basic human right, and the new cystoscope will help ensure that the citizens of this area receive the care they deserve. I would like to thank the European Union, IOM and the authorities of Una Sana Canton for our collaboration. I sincerely hope that this valuable equipment will make a positive difference to the lives of all citizens”, said Ingrid Macdonald, UN Resident Coordinator in BiH.

As part of the ceremonial handover, technical and application training for the medical staff for the use of the donated cystoscope was organized, and the donors were given an organized tour through the hospital and its facilities.

Head of the IOM Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sub-regional Coordinator for the Western Balkans, Laura Lungarotti, said that IOM and EU are committed to support both migrants and local communities and that over the last years they have supported the health institutions in the Una-Sana Canton in including migrants’ health into their services and in so doing improve public health.

“IOM and the European Union have been particularly active during the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to the immunization process and helping health facilities throughout the canton. In addition to assisting the cantonal hospital, we have provided the Bihać Health Center with 6 containers that enable medical personnel to continue providing medical care to patients, and additional medical equipment to the health centers in Bosanska Krupa, Cazin, Ključ, Velika Kladuša, and the Institute of Public Health of USK. I would like to point out that last year we also provided a new, fully equipped ambulance for the Bihać Health Center and for the local community of Orašac, located near the Temporary Reception Center Lipa,” said Lungarotti.

Project “Bosnia and Herzegovina: Enhancing Social Cohesion in Communities Hosting People On the Move” was funded by the European Union Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) as part of the Neighborhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), and implemented by International Organization for Migration in Bosnia and Herzegovina.