The COVID-19 pandemic in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Content Providers: CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

In just a few months, COVID-19 has spread around the world, causing a number of health, economic and social consequences. A little more than two months have passed from its outbreak in China to the first patients in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Authorities and the health community in the world, but also in Bosnia and Herzegovina, have faced the COVID-19 pandemic by introducing a series of more or less restrictive preventive measures aimed at preventing the spread of the pandemic.

The authors of the paper published in BJBMS, Arapovic and Skocibusic, conducted a retrospective study of the first two months of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mostar, a regional center in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina. A total of 380 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 at the University Clinical Hospital Mostar were analyzed. Among the 380 patients, 15.8% were treated in the hospital while the other patients were treated by the family physicians. The results of their study showed that a total of 19 patients died, and therefore, the mortality was 5%. Furthermore, mortality was the highest in the patients over 65 years of age. More men than women were admitted to hospital, and the vast majority had pneumonia. One-third of patients who had respiratory support survived.

It should be noted that the abovementioned restrictive anti-epidemic measures were introduced 10 days after the first case appeared. At that time, there were only 18 registered COVID-19 patients in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Therefore, the authors look back at the restrictive preventive measures taken such as the introduction of curfew, restriction of movement, closure of schools, colleges, public facilities and the abolition of social activities and compare the effects of these measures with the effects of health systems in the neighboring countries and the rest of the world. They concluded that in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as neighboring countries such as Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia, fewer COVID-19 patients per million inhabitants died during the analyzed period, as compared with that in richer countries such as the United States of America, France, Spain or Italy.

Reference:

Arapović J, Skočibušić S. The first two months of COVID-19 pandemic in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Single-center experience. Bosn J of Basic Med Sci. 2020

Editor: Edna Skopljak

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