BIHAĆ, August 12 (FENA) – The European Union, in partnership with the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), donated three ventilators to the “Dr. Irfan Ljubijankić” Cantonal Hospital in Bihać, as a form of support for the work of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Policy of the Una-Sana Canton.
Ventilators are of top quality, intended to help patients with severe respiratory failure, whether they are adults, children or newborns, the DRC said.
Nicolas Bizel, Head of Justice and Home Affairs and Public Administration Reform Section of the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, presented ventilators to Director of the Bihać Cantonal Hospital, Hajrudin Havić, emphasizing the European Union’s continued support to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the fight against coronavirus.
“The European Union is the most loyal partner to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I am happy that we can deliver everything we promised. From the very beginning of the crisis, we have been working every day to provide the necessary medical equipment, proving that teamwork is the key to overcoming the crisis. In response to the “COVID-19” virus and support for the state to fight the pandemic, we have allocated 80.5 million euros through various grants, to save the lives and jobs of the citizens of this country. We additionally provided EUR 250 million for macro-financial assistance. The EU also helps the most vulnerable categories through activities implemented by the European Commission Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO),” said Bizel.
In addition to theses three ventilators, ECHO and DRC distributed antibacterial fluids, protective gloves, masks and protective suits to six EU-funded temporary reception centers for migrants and refugees, as well as primary health care centers, humanitarian and volunteer organizations, as well as to the FBiH Ministry of Health.
“DRC, with partners, is happy to support the work of the Cantonal Hospital in Bihać. Ventilators will improve the quality of medical services aimed at saving lives of citizens of the Una-Sana Canton and the migrant population. It will further help alleviate certain burdens that dedicated medical professionals face on a daily basis, said DRC BiH Director Nicola Bay, expressing admiration for doctors and nurses who stood at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus.
DRC, ECHO and the Cantonal Hospital in Bihać have previously collaborated on a number of projects that have resulted in increased quality of medical services.
“I am grateful to our friends, DRC and the EU for this valuable donation. The Cantonal Hospital warned earlier about the lack of medical equipment, which makes this donation even more important for all my colleagues, heroes in white,” Director of the Hospital, Hajrudin Havić, emphasized.
Based on the most urgent needs identified by the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EU has pledged a total of 80.5 million euros to help the country in response to COVID-19, including seven million euros for emergency medical needs. The value of ventilators donated to the Cantonal Hospital in Bihać is 123.830 euros.
There are currently about 9.000 refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, of whom an estimated 3.200 live outside temporary reception centers. Many sleep in abandoned buildings and have limited access to water and sanitation. Thanks to EU-funded humanitarian projects, the DRC provides assistance, such as the distribution of sleeping bags, blankets, warm jackets, shoes and food.
The EU continues to provide humanitarian health care and services, both to people in temporary reception centers across the country and to those living outside these centers. As pandemic can have dire consequences among the most marginalized, the DRC ensures that all refugees, migrants and asylum seekers have access to health care, regardless of their status.