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Delegation of the European Union to the Republic Of Serbia
A project funded by the European Union Contract Nº: 2010/258-562 (09SER01/05/11)
Republic of Serbia Ministry of Economy and Regional Development
National Agency for Tourism Development
Project Office: Dr Subotića 5, Institute for Public Health fo Serbia, "Dr Milan Jovanović - Batut", 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Tel: (+ 381) 11 20 62 733, Email: office@screeningserbia.rs
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‘Serbia against Cancer’

The first National conference ‘Serbia against Cancer’ was held on June 4th 2013 in Sava Center, Belgrade. It served primarily as a platform for the presentation of final results of the project “Technical Assistance for the Implementation of the National Screening Programme for cancer” funded by the European Union pre-accession funds for Serbia with 1.8 million Eur.

The conference was opened by the Prime Minister of Serbia, Ivica Dačić, and speakers included the Minister of Health of Serbia, Prof.Dr. Slavica Djukić Dejanović, EU Delegation Ambassador, Dr. Vincent Degert, Project Team Leader Prof.Dr. Dušan Keber, and Prof.Dr. Jean Favre. The conference was attended by health professionals and representatives of local governments from Serbia who are taking part in the project implementation, in addition to the project team members and partners.

The Ambassador to the EU Delegation in Serbia, Mr. Vincent Degert, stressed the significance of the project and the importance of the supplying  cancer screening facilities to be fully completed until the end of this year, consisting of 21 mimeographs, 18 colonoscopes, and 64 microscopes. Mr. Degert pointed out that the life expectancy in Serbia is much lower than in the EU primarily because of cancer, and expressed his standpoint that cancer prevention should be strengthened. Mr. Vincent Degert concluded that the finalization of the project is only the start of a process in which the citizens of Serbia should actively participate.

The Team Leader of the project, Mr. Dusan Keber, presented an overview of substantial aims and results achieved by the project: Strengthening the Capacity of screening; Strengthening knowledge and skills (training in mammography screening, education and training of colonoscopy professionals;   Raising awareness of the general public through the informational leaflets.

Throughout the two years of its implementation, the project conducted numerous educational programmes for cancer screening professionals. Earlier this year, training was delivered to 40 nurses and technicians attended a one-day theoretical and practical training for screening, equipment maintenance, colonoscopy techniques, patient preparation, procedures, interventions, and potential complications associated with the procedure. Previous project activities have included: several courses related to cervical cancer screening and one-day session for PAP smears reading according to Bethesda classification for gynecologists. In addition, trainings were organized in the field of cytoscreening in the Serbian city of Nis.

Technical preparations within the Serbian health system for implementing the national program “Serbia against Cancer” have been successfully completed and healthcare facilities are now ready to begin the first cycle of cancer screening. The goal of the national program is the introduction and promotion of organized screening for early detection of breast, cervical and colorectal cancer in Republic of Serbia.

As emphasized at the conference, and with the successful implementation of the project, the health system of Serbia is now fully competent to carry out the cycle of screening for colon, cervical and breast cancer. The project “Technical Assistance for the Implementation of the National Screening Programme for cancer” is significant because  the early screening for cancer has great impact on all levels of society and ultimately improvement of the quality of life.