BOX 3-10

Cross-Boundary Steps by Physicians in Yugoslavia (1995)

Spare parts from Serbia were offered for non-functioning incubators in Zenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and children from Knin were invited to the Children’s Hospital in Zagreb, Croatia. Lessons learned in Yugoslavia could be applied to children in other war zones.

SOURCE: Institute of Medicine/NRC. 1995. The Impact of War on Child Health in the Countries of the Former Yugoslavia. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, p. 40.

Given the splintering of Yugoslavia into independent states, there was great interest in Washington and in the new countries in establishing interacademy linkages through additional workshops. Many topics were proposed, and exploratory trips to the region were undertaken to set the stage for workshops. However, funding did not materialize to follow through on the many interesting ideas that were on the table.


Dozens of scientific workshops are being held every year throughout the region with minimal attendance by U.S. specialists. The Eastern European appetite for workshops involving U.S. specialists seems insatiable. The list of topics that are often proposed is long, and the interests among scientists in the United States are manifold. But sources of funding for such activities have been scarce. The U.S. government and private foundations repeatedly argue that since these countries are now part of a unified Europe, U.S. funding for scientific cooperation must be pointed in other directions. At the same time, the region is gaining in scientific strength; and workshops to introduce scientists to one another through discussions of not only scientific issues but also policy and management issues seem to have been a good investment.

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