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Italian CIMIC provides medical equipment

By 1st Lt. Luis Sanchez
First published in
SFOR Informer#117, July 11, 2001

The only remaining hospital in the Sokolac area, Republika Srpska, is about 30 kilometres east of Sarajevo. On June 25, it received from the Italian Battle Group CIMIC medical supplies for their X-ray equipment and one Personal Computer to carry out administration duties and store patients' data.

Sokolac - In a post-war period, so many things are needed that it is impossible to detail them all. Civil-Military Co-operation (CIMIC) teams all over the Theatre work to improve these conditions. Health care is of paramount importance for everybody, especially the elderly and children. The Italian Battle Group CIMIC unit (S5), posted in Tito's Barracks, downtown Sarajevo, delivered medical supplies to the only medical facility in the Sokolac area, composed of one hospital with several departments and one state health-service clinic. "We work in micro-projects, inside the Italian Area of Responsibility, mainly in this area and in Gorazde. The funds to perform the task come from the European Union, and the most difficult part is to obtain them," explained Lt.Col. Maurizio Zocchi, S5 commander.
Locals greeted the Italian CIMIC support with much excitement, because the medical centre cares for over 40,000 inhabitants in the zone assisted by the hospital. This medical help definitely aids in local daily life. It consists of X-ray materials, a load of much-needed packets containing bottles of liquid in plastic, fixer and replenisher, bandages and one PC for administrative labour. The health institution has been lacking these materials since the end of the war. "This contribution is very important for us, not only the cost, we cannot afford to buy it, but also because for us it is extremely useful. We asked for one PC to monitor patients and improve medical care," said Dragan Cajic, hospital director. "It is fair that everybody knows it, it will be broadcast led by Pale local radio; we also want to show our gratitude to the donor," continued Cajic.
"This is not the first time we have worked with this hospital; this is the fifth time from March we have provided goods." The S5 team has been working hard during the previous months focusing on this hospital: "Firstly in the middle of March, we arrived with our doctor in order to gauge all the necessities, and then we set about getting them," explained Warrant Officer 1 Marco Zampini. "Fifteen days ago, we delivered a lot of radiography films, enough to maintain the radiology service for three years," commented Capt. Fausto Richetti.
In addition, the Italian Battle Group's medical officer has performed and prepared future medical examinations to the collective centres for Displaced Persons and Refugees (DPRE). In conjunction with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) the delivery of food, toys and clothing to collectives' camps is undertaken, as well as monitoring, road repairs and providing logistic support to DPREs. " We will end our tour here in the middle of the next month, the work is interesting and rewarding, but hard. The local people are happy to work with us," concluded Zocchi.

Related links: Nations of SFOR: Italy