Region to jointly combat diseases in aftermath of floods

Health ministers of Serbia, Croatia and the Serb Republic (RS) in Bosnia agreed on Tuesday on a common strategy for the fight against infectious diseases.

Source: Tanjug
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These diseases could threaten the countries in the region after the flooding.

The three ministers' meeting held in the village of Morović in the province of Vojvodina, was also attended by Dragan Ilić, director of the Serbian Public Health Institute.

The ministers agreed to present their common strategy for combating infectious diseases before the EU and the World Health Organization (WHO), and to make sure that all relevant institutions act in unison so as not to come out with different views and demands.

Serbian Minister of Health Zlatibor Lončar emphasized that effective communication has been established between health ministry officials over the past several days, and that the ministers have convened in order to make concrete arrangements based on earlier agreements.

"We expect that conditions will be met on Friday for insecticide spraying of mosquitoes from the air in all flood affected areas in the region, which will be conducted under the auspices of EU and WHO,” Lončar told reporters after the meeting.

Croatia's Health Minister Rajko Ostojić said that ministry officials of countries in the region hit by the floods concluded that insecticide spraying from the air is necessary as the affected area covers more than 100,000 hectares.

Dragan Bogdanović, Minister of Health of the RS, said that the situation is critical in the territory of Šamac, while the city of Doboj is completely devastated, adding, however, that no infectious diseases have so far been reported in RS.

Dragan Ilic, director of the Serbian Public Health Institute, emphasized that large-scale epidemics is not expected, adding that the most important thing is to make sure that the water is safe to drink.

The biggest threat comes from the West Nile virus, Ilić pointed out.

Before the meeting in Morović, the three health ministers visited Županja, an area under threat in Croatia, near the Serbian border, after which they headed for the flood-affected areas in the RS.

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