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FP6

HISERBS — Result In Brief

Project ID: 26357
Funded under: FP6-INCO

Networking in Serbia raises health standards

Support actions directed through three of the major research institutions in Belgrade will reinforce the battle against a rising incidence in cancer throughout Serbia.
Networking in Serbia raises health standards
Cancer is one of the main causes of death in Serbia. To combat this rising trend, a European project 'Health improvement in Serbia through reinforcement of biomedical science and technology' (Hiserbs) has coordinated and combined the efforts of the country’s research facilities.

The three main research centres taking part in this ambitious project have facilities for treatment and or research into malignancies. The Institute for Medical Research (IMR), the Institute of Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering (IMGGE) and the Institute for the Application of Nuclear Energy (INEP) joined forces to reinforce medical efforts to implement up-to-date diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

Serbia's best researchers were recruited to form the Hiserbs multidisciplinary team to act as the hub of the networking and advisory initiatives. As a first step, all the relevant medical institutions in Serbia were invited to contribute to the development of a list of the current laboratory diagnostic protocols in use countrywide.

Experts from EU centres of excellence were also asked to cooperate and provide information on internationally accepted methods of diagnosis and follow up of malignant diseases. The cancers addressed in particular were leukaemia, carcinoma of the breast, pancreas, thyroid gland, prostate and gastrointestinal tract. The updated guidelines have since been introduced into standard practice in Serbia.

Communications have been established between various institutions key in policymaking in Serbia. These include the Ministry of Health, the Republican Bureau for Health Insurance and the Serbian Leukemia Net. Promoted by Hiserbs activities, the Ministry of Health in Serbia has since launched a major public campaign on prevention of cancer.

The measure of the response to Hiserbs networking activities was reflected by the record number of visitors at open days, conferences and visitors on the website. Many partnerships between medical colleagues in the EU and Serbia have been initiated and strengthened by Hiserbs efforts. Most significant perhaps is that a partner institution of Hiserbs, IMGGE, joined the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) 'European Leukemia Net' (ELN).

Over only three years, the overall impact of Hiserbs has been enormous in terms of local and European networking. The net result has been an improvement in cancer research and care and an upgrading to the best in EU standards.

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