Mission of WHO & SECID and Workshop in Banja Luka

On 12th and 13th of March 2014 in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, took place a mission of WHO & SECID, as well as the Country Workshop to discuss Influenza Surveillance, in the framework of implementation of the “Surveillance and Response to Avian and pandemic Influenza by National Health Authorities of Countries of South East Europe” Project.

The mission was composed by Dr. Diana Gross – WHO EURO and Dr. Silvia Bino and Ms. Ledia Agolli – SECID. They attended the workshop as well. Dr. Vladimir Drazenovic from Croatia assisted also the workshop as a regional consultant.

On 12th of March two teams were set up, the first to make an assessment of Lab and the second one to make an assessment of the surveillance system in the Clinical Center Banja Luka. The assessments were made in the ICU, in the Clinic for Infectious Diseases, in the Pediatric Clinic and in the Primary Health care Center Banja Luka. The mission of WHO and SECID representatives also organized a meeting with General Director of the Clinical Center Banja Luka to present the scope and purpose of the WHO Mission and importance of sentinel surveillance.

The workshop was held on 13th of March in the Federal Public Health Institute. The Director of Public Health Institute of Republic of Srpska, Sc. Med. Dr. Slobodan Stanic took the welcoming speech. The goal of the workshop was to determine the current status of influenza surveillance system in FBIH and to evaluate it using WHO Influenza Guidelines

Prof. Dr. Semra Cavaljuga, BIH Project Coordinator presented the Surveillance and Respose to Avian and Pandemic Influenza Project in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prof. Dr. Silvia Bino from SECID presented about strengthening capacities of countries of SEE for surveillance and response to Influenza. Dr. Diana Gross from WHO EURO presented the importance of assessment of Influenza Surveillance system.

Afterwards two separate working groups were set up to discuss about surveillance assessment. Their conclusions were presented in the plenary session at the end of the workshop and based on their conclusions a report was produced.

During the stay in Sarajevo the mission of WHO & SECID organized a meeting with the Director of Federal Public Health Institute as well as visits to the Clinical Centre University of Sarajevo – Department of Microbiology and to the Cantonal Public Health Institute Sarajevo.  The importance of strengthening the cooperation and collaboration and exchanging experiences among the SEE countries regarding to strengthening influenza surveillance was  emphasized in the above meetings.