The sanctions cause diseases of children

               Dr Miodrag Sreckovic, President of the Section of Pediatrics
               of the Serbian Medical Society

               Increase of the cavernous and milliary tuberculousis. More
               frequent salmonellosis in children and pregnant women. Free
               health protection of the youngest.

               Shortage of the materials for laboratory analyses, X -Ray
               films, lack of servicing of diagnostic equipment , increase
               of serious forms of of tuberculousis, the appearance of
               salmonellosis, drugs with expired validity dates are one of
               the burning problems which the medical staff comes across
               from day to day, in the conditions of the embargo imposed.
               Something that is the most difficult consequence of such a
               situation in the health care is, no doubt, the increase of
               some diseases in childhood.

               The President of the Section of Pediatries of the Serbian
               Medical Society, doctor Miodrag Sreckovic , Director of the
               Institute For Pulmonal Diseases of the Clinical Hospital
               Centre "Dedinje" speaks about it.

               - Before embargo, we had all kinds of drugs and food says Dr.
               Sreckovic. Along with the sanctions, the problems appeared.
               We did not have enough X -Ray film, chemical reagences for
               many laboratory analyses. Biochemists tried to solve the
               problems by themselves and invented the agents for blood
               analyse. The import of spare parts is disastrous. The embargo
               prevented servicing of numberous instruments, so they were
               left unused and waited for better times, says Dr. Sreckovic.-
               In the most difficult period, we were supplied with drugs
               mainly owing to the hiumanitarian organizations and people
               who helped their mother country. We took care that the drugs
               come at the right time and to the right place, doctors and
               nurses were in charge of the classification of drugs. Drugs
               writing off was a big problem because there were drugs with
               expired validity date and therefore, it was necessary to test
               the drug usability.

               Answering the question, to what extent the shortage of drugs
               influenced the appearance of relapses, particularly of the
               respiratory organs, Dr. Sreckovic said: - Before, we had
               possibilities of faster making diagnosis of virus infections.
               We could, for instance, immediately get the results of
               analyses (nasal secretion within one hour) and thus, to find
               out the cause of disease. Now, it is not possible. First, we
               have to take a sample of material, after a fortnight we take
               the other and only then we make diagnosis on the basis of
               antibody titres. Another possibility is the following of
               epidemiological development of disease and on the grounds of
               it, the appropriate measures of treatment are taken.


               Dr. Sreckovic explains about the most frequent diseases of
               pre-school and school age children. Respiratory diseases take
               the very top of rating, even 80 per cent and owing to the
               lack of the adequate health protection, for instance,
               hygienic substances and health illiteracy, frequent
               infections of sallmonelosis appeared. High percentage of
               children suffer from it as well as pregnant women. I have to
               mention, Dr. Sreckovic says, that tuberculouses is in slight
               increase but also serious forms of cavernous and milliary
               tuberculouses appeared. This, rooted out diseas as it was
               believed for long, appeared last and this year particularly.
               I would especially point out the specific shortage of meat
               and milk last year. This food was literally an abstract noun
               at homes, hospitals and other medical care institutions. Of
               course, the immunity of children, blood picture was so
               greately deranged that as a consequence were over crowded -
               in the summer months particularly - when the facilities were
               expected to be empty.

               Dr. Sreckovc speaks about the discontinued free supply of
               some drugs including those for malignant diseases: -
               Concerning the health protection of children - it is free,
               with no participation charged, in fact, children enjoy all
               the rights. Recently, the list of necessary drugs was issued
               by the Republican Institute For Health Protection (February
               20,1995). The list includes all health fields.

               What is the status of sick children in the general medical
               treatment and later, in the centres for rehabilitation? Dr.
               Sreckovic points out that the children are sent to the
               extended hospitalization in some of the appropriate centres.


               Climat factor, stay in fresh air, as it is known, have
               favourable effect on the health of the sick. Special Board
               makes decision following the recommendation of the physician
               in hospital where the child stays as an in -patient. Children
               have right to aid items for the disabled, especially to
               inhalators. The proposal for certain aid items should be
               signed by three physicians.

               Dr. Sreckovic observes, in respect of information
               andexperience exchange: The exchange of information was
               absolutely discontinued which, was not the practice before
               (magazines, brochures...). We compensated it in another
               manner. We held the meetings of sections, reported on what
               was happening at the congresses abroad and informed the
               collegues on the innovations in health practice. At the
               Congress of Pediatritians in Nis, it was stated which were
               the consequences of the embargo on the health condition of
               children. On that occassion, also the guests from the whole
               world were informed on the health situation in our country.
               Due to the embargo, the mortality rate both of chidren and
               adults have increased. This year as well, more than 500 works
               will be presented in Nis, from aa various subject fields -
               hereditary diseases, malignant, endocrine, nutritive and
               allergic diseases.

               Svetlana Braunovic

               Ljiljana ZZegarac