Banjaluka September 10, Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik and chairwoman of the steering committee of the Association of Parents of Children with Cancer Iskra, Rada Vjestica, laid the cornerstone of the Parents’ House for children with cancer in Banjaluka on Thursday.
The cornerstone was laid inside the grounds of the University Clinical Centre of Republika Srpska in Banjaluka’s Paprikovac quarter, while BAM850,000 has been provided for the house construction in a campaign carried out thanks to the Srpska president.
Dodik has told the press that the building will be around 500 square metres in size, have seven apartments and all necessary amenities and house the parents whose children are in therapy.
“The house is supposed to be a part of an integrated delivery system of healthcare and the University Clinical Centre gets a new feature with this. Its message is that the society has not stopped being responsible,” said Dodik adding that the construction of the Parents’ House was necessary for all the parents from other towns bringing their children to Banjaluka for treatment.
The society must be humane towards the parents who find themselves in such a difficult situation and such charitable campaigns mean life, kindness and everything good in the society, said the Srpska president.
“The construction was initiated by the Association Iskra, which is keeping all the funds and construction-related documents. So far, parents stayed in hotels or found other kinds of accommodation while their children were undergoing hospital treatment,” said Dodik.
Ms Vjestica thanked everyone who helped organise the construction and make it happen, pointing out that the ones who are best aware of the house’s significance are the parents and their sick children.
Jelica Predojevic Samardzic, the head of the Children’s Haematooncology Ward, has said that, when the project is completed, the University Clinical Centre will join the group of modern European hospitals that have had the help of the civil society for long.
“This is an excellent form of cooperation. The parents association, which together with the Srpska president launched the fund raising campaign, has provided considerable help to our ward and the hospital’s capacity,” said Samardzic.
According to her, the Parents’ House is going to give an important psychological as well as economic support to the families of children with cancer.
“These families face enormous costs, so the house will be of great help as we have patients from all over Republika Srpska. Our ward has between 60 and 70 patients a year and we expect between 30 and 35 new, very difficult cases on an annual basis,” said Samardzic.
There are between 35 and 40 kids currently treated at the ward.
The Director of the University Clinical Centre of Republika Srpska, Mirko Stanetic, has said that the Parents’ House will help expand the volume of services that the institution offers.
“We have the best Children’s Haematooncology Ward, which also has a lab and a radiotherapy centre. We have yet to achieve the highest results possible in the surgical treatment of such patients,” said Stanetic.
Success in treatment, claims Stanetic, also depends on communication with the Radiotherapy Centre and great progress made in laboratory diagnostics, which will also have flow cytometry, a biophysical technology required for further treatment, by the end of the year.