On the occasion of its 100th anniversary, the Institute of Public Health of Serbia Dr. Marijan Ivanusa, WHO Representative and Head of the Country Office in Serbia, honored for his public advocacy and contribution to public health. He received the award together with Tamara Vučić, First Lady; Dr. Zlatibor Lončar, Minister of Health; and Dr. Nebojša Lalić, Dean of the Medical Faculty of the University of Belgrade.
Dr. Ivanusa took the opportunity to highlight the importance of public health: “Improving health and preventing disease is the main public health objective and brings savings to the health system. These savings can easily be overlooked when in reality they should be understood as a crucial resource in introducing new technologies in clinical medicine, which can sometimes be very costly, but bring people progress and new hope. “
The 100th anniversary celebration was dedicated to vaccination – past achievements, current challenges and future plans. Serbia has a long history of vaccination; The country was among the first to administer certain vaccines in the 19th century. Diphtheria was eliminated in Serbia in 1980, and the country has maintained its polio-free status since 2002. The last case of newborn tetanus was reported in 2009.
The vaccination program in Serbia was very successful after the 2018 outbreak, reaching more than 95% of children with measles vaccines. This fact was confirmed by Dr. Dorit Nitzan, WHO / Europe Health Emergencies Coordinator, highlighted the achievements of Serbian health professionals, not only in the field of vaccination but also in the health sector.