Coronavirus testing should be intensified in Bosnia and Herzegovina and should include a much larger number of inhabitants while institutions must find a mechanism to predict what will happen and how the virus will behave in order to create different scenarios for combatting it, a delegation of the World Health Organisation (WHO) told Bosnia’s officials during a visit to the Ministry of Civil Affairs on Friday.
The delegation consisted of dr. Victor Olsavszky, Head of the WHO Office for Bosnia and Herzegovina, dr. Fabio Scano, Special Adviser to the Director of the WHO European Region, dr. Ardita Tahirukaj, an expert in the field of providing essential health services from the WHO Regional Office for Europe and Martha Scherzer, an expert in crisis communication.
The conversation covered several points among which the most important was Covid-19. Dr. Scano pointed out that it is important to face the pandemic jointly and that it will not be over for a long time.
This fact also implies a change in the approach which means that all available experiences need to be taken into account, adapted and applied, he argued.
Another topic was Bosnia’s accession to the Gavi Alliance for the procurement of vaccines for the country’ residents. Dr. Osavszky stressed that it is very important for Bosnia and Herzegovina to begin preparatory activities for the procurement of the vaccine.
The important role of the Ministry of Civil Affairs in uniting all the needs expressed by the entities and the Brcko District and presenting those needs through a single document was emphasized as well.
An example of good practice which was mentioned but is still lacking in Bosnia and Herzegovina was "contact monitoring”. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, this practice mostly involves monitoring one person the infected had contact with, while in other countries it involves monitoring five to fifteen contacts.
Dr. Olsavszky also expressed support for Bosnia’s participation in the 70th virtual session of the Regional Committee of the World Health Organization, which will be held on September 14, 2020.