Director of the Center: academician Mirsada Hukić
Due to the enormous repercussions it has on the community, the recent emergence of the novel coronavirus has found itself at the very top of priorities of the world's medical, economic and political authorities and institutions. Coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated as COVID-19) spread quickly and impacted multiple continents and many countries, which is why the World Health Organization declared a pandemic of this disease on 11 March 2020.
The current system of monitoring communicable and noncommunicable diseases in Bosnia and Herzegovina has a number of shortcomings. The most important include uneven monitoring in different parts of the country, complete epidemiological information is not collected and processed at the state level of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and there are uneven preventive measures that differ across areas. Furthermore, unique biostatistical analyses, estimates of the rate of spread of the infection in space and time, monitoring the effectiveness of individual preventive measures, and short-term and long-term forecasts of epidemic development are not performed. There is no centralized or harmonized reporting to healthcare institutions, different levels of government and citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Without accurate and timely information, making good decisions about preventing and controlling epidemics is not possible.
The danger of uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the complex organization of public health system, and the lack of political will to establish a unified monitoring and control system for the whole country, motivated members of the Committee for Microbiology and Related Disciplines to propose the establishment of a Center for Disease Control and Geohealth Studies (CDC / GHS). The Center was officially established on 7th December 2020.
This Center gathers and coordinates researchers from Bosnia and Herzegovina with the intention to use their knowledge and expertise, through research and development projects, to help public health institutions be better prepared to respond to this and similar situations in the future.
In the long run, this Center will be developed through research within various fields and disciplines gathered primarily around the platform of unified health and “geohealth”, the application of which should create preconditions for more efficient responses to future emergencies caused by pathogens, which ultimately contributes to strengthening national biosafety.
Successful control of epidemics / pandemics caused by emerging pathogens necessitates comprehensive research, both of the pathogen itself, its ecology, biology, transmission routes, diseases it causes, prevention and immunization, and of its impact on socio-economic relations in society. The Center for Disease Control and Geohealth Studies will conduct such research through its sections for: health research, disease prevention and control, emergent / reemergent zoonoses and bioterrorism, geospatial research, and transdisciplinary research.
The work program of the Center will include virological research and activities related to the implementation of the project of the Committee for Microbiology and Related Disciplines titled “Expert System for Monitoring, Prevention and Coordination of Preventing the Spread of the COVID-19 Epidemic – Epidemiological Location Intelligence System.”
No system has been recognized in Bosnia and Herzegovina that would provide quality and timely information to health care institutions participating in solving health problems related to the COVID-19 epidemic in a unified way for the entire country. This information is necessary for decision-makers to implement various measures aimed at controlling the epidemic (procurement of protective equipment, tests, control of population movement, economic measures, etc.).
Expert System for Monitoring and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 Virus - Epidemiological Location Intelligence System, which was created as a research project of ANUBIH, is unique in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the wider region and represents an original work of ANUBiH. It is intended for scientists, experts and professionals in the field of health and other relevant areas for monitoring and research of epidemic phenomena. The aim of the project is to provide information relevant to epidemiological monitoring in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as to create a scientific research database for other complementary and interdisciplinary projects.
Research subject is spatial and temporal monitoring of the spread of COVID-19 virus in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina through:
- Gathering epidemiological and other data relevant to tracing the outbreak of the epidemic and its spread.
- Biostatistical analysis of the pace of spreading and spatial-temporal distribution of infectious and other diseases.
- Analysis and assessment of the epidemiological monitoring system and proposing measures for its improvement.
- Informing, reporting and notifying about the epidemiological situation and evaluation of effectiveness of control measures with the aim of better decision making.
- Evaluation of epidemiological data through active serological monitoring.
- Centralization and exchange of biostatistics and other data for research projects.
Information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, an application platform, as well as data sets and models relevant for monitoring the spread of the disease and biostatistical analysis have been established for the implementation of research. A geoportal for geovisualization, communication, data entry and retrieval (ELIS geoportal) has been developed as part of the epidemiological notification system.
This project will be expanded to complementary research and programs for education of health professionals, but also to unified healthcare, which would help mitigate and overcome the consequences of the existing health crisis, and to apply the experience and results achieved in the prevention of other emergencies.
The Center for Disease Control and Geohealth Studies has a key role in the implementation of planned projects.
The primary purpose of the Center is research in the field of health sciences, environment and geohealth, and their application in disease control and prevention, as well as connecting human and infrastructural potentials in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the wider region.
Center's mission is to encourage and foster transdisciplinary scientific collaboration in order to advance understanding of the complex interactions between the geospatial environment (including land, water, soil and air) and health, with the goal of better prevention and more effective control of communicable and noncommunicable diseases.
The main goals of the Center are:
(a) Research development and integrated application of health sciences, geo-sciences and environmental sciences in disease control.
(b) Research-based analysis and prediction of the spread of communicable and non-communicable diseases with a view to their monitoring, prevention and control.
(c) Linking the relevant human and infrastructure potentials of Bosnia and Herzegovina related to transdisciplinary research.
(d) Establishment and development of a scientific research database in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Members of the Center:
- Academician Muhidin Hamamdžić
- Academician Lidija Lincender
- Academician Senka Mesihović-Dinarević
- Prof. Dr. Mirza Ponjavić, IBU, UNTZ, GAUSS, Secretary of the Center
- Prof. Dr. Sead Ahmetagić, UNTZ
- Prof. Dr. Jurica Arapović, SKBM
- Prof. Dr. Rusmir Baljić KCUS
- Prof. Dr. Nermin Salkić, UNTZ
- Prof. Dr. Almir Karabegović, UNSA
- Prof. Dr. Teufik Goletić, UNSA
- Prof. Dr. Amina Kozarić, KCUS
- Prof. Dr. Monia Avdić, IBU
- Prof. Dr. Fatima Numanović, UNTZ NALAZ
- Prof. Dr. Osman Sinanović, UNTZ
- Assist. Prof. Dr. Maja Travar, UKCRS
- Prof. Dr. Nijaz Tihić UNTZ
- Prof. Dr. Selma Uzunović, INZ
- Dr. Sci. Maja Ostojić, SKBM
- Prof. Dr. Sead Karakaš, ZZJZ/SBK
- Dr. Sci. Fadila Serdarević, SST
- Dr. Sci. Enes Šačić, JZU DZ KS
- Assist. Prof. Dr. Emin Tahirović, IUS
- Dr. Sci. Elvir Ferhatbegović, UNTZ
- Software engineer Enes Hukić, NALAZ