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.
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.
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