Serbia & Montenegro: Effects of War on Health and Social Conditions, 1994

In March 1994, in response to concerns about the effects of war and sanctions on human health and social conditions in Serbia and Montenegro, a sentinel community survey covering 23 sites with a representative sample of around 13,000 people from 4,000 households was implemented in collaboration with a local NGO. Nearly one half of the households reported their biggest problem was money, while 11% considered health as their biggest problem. Asked what they expect from relief organizations, over 60% said “nothing”. One household in three did not use health services when someone had been ill in the two weeks prior to the study; the most frequent reason given for this was lack of money, followed by lack of transport and the absence of medicines. Over 70% of infants had begun receiving solid food before they were four months old. Serb infants were nearly four times more at risk of stopping breast feeding by four months than in the previous four years. There was little overall sex difference in measles vaccine coverage in the under five age group. However, a boy was 70% more likely than a girl to be vaccinated before the age of 12 months. Regional coverage differences showed a child in Central Serbia was 50% more likely to be vaccinated than one in the other regions. Children of refugees had higher coverage than resident children. This survey was financed by Health Reach (a project of the Centre for International Health and the Centre for Peace Studies at McMaster University), UNICEF, UNHCR and WHO.

For further information see: Social Conditions for Health in Serbia and Montenegro. New York, CIETinternational, 1994. Available from CIETinternational, 847a Second Avenue, Suite 387, New York, NY 10017 USA. A donation of US$15 is requested.