the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), marked the donation of equipment to the “Batut” Institute of Public Health in Belgrade and at 23 local and regional health establishments. With the information and communications technology (ICT) equipment provided to the National Communication Center and local health facilities, medical experts in Serbia will be able to better coordinate their COVID response efforts.
The United States has already provided almost $ 5 million in COVID assistance to Serbia, and this donation is only part of our $ 1 million Together Against COVID partnership with UNDP.
“These efforts and all our efforts to help Serbia fight COVID have been undertaken in response to the priorities identified by our Serbian counterparts. Soon we will be providing additional support to help raise awareness of the importance of getting vaccinated, as generalized vaccinations are the only way to get back to normal, ”said US Ambassador Anthony Godfrey.
The donated equipment, valued at $ 70,000, is operational today. USAID also funded the renovation of the offices that house the National Communication Center. Each of the 23 institutes that make up the public health network of Serbia (located in Subotica, Zrenjanin, Kikinda, Pančevo, Sombor, Novi Sad, Sremska Mitrovica, Belgrade, abac, Valjevo, Požarevac, Kragujevac, Ćuprija, Zaječar, Užice, Čačak, Kraljevo, Kruševac, Niš, Pirot, Leskovac, Vranje and Novi Pazar) have also been fitted with new ICT equipment to facilitate real-time crisis communications.
The National Communication Center of the Serbian Public Health Institute “Dr Milan Jovanović Batut” will serve to improve communication and coordination of public health activities in health emergencies and during our regular daily work. The ability of public health services to quickly assess their resources and activities and respond to health risks in local communities is crucial for managing health crises. One of the main tasks of this institute and our network of local health centers is precisely to control and prevent the spread of disease and to prepare for any emergency, the doc said. dr Verica Jovanović, director of the Serbian Public Health Institute “Dr Milan Jovanović Batut”, adding that “the new computer equipment that we have received will improve our preparedness to face the COVID-19 pandemic”.
The new National Communication Center will help “Batut” to better coordinate the ongoing vaccination process and direct public health resources to protect the health of Serbian citizens according to priority needs, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have created a digital network of public health experts across the country and made sure they can communicate with each other 24/7. This rapid and continuous exchange of data on the ground will help coordinate national efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, manage the vaccination process and protect the health of all citizens, ”said Francine Pickup, UNDP Resident Representative in Serbia.
The “Together Against COVID” project funded by USAID and implemented by UNDP is carried out in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans Affairs and Social Affairs, the ‘Institute of Public Health “Dr Milan Jovanović Batut” and the General Secretariat of the Government. The project helps Serbian institutions meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in the areas of health, social and environmental protection.