Obradovic Zarema

University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Title: Immunization and human rights


Prof. Dr. Zarema Obradović is an epidemiologist, currently working at the epidemiology department of Institute of Public Health Canton Sarajevo and as a professor of epidemiology at the Faculty for Health Studies, University of Sarajevo. After completing her studies at the Medical Faculty, University of Sarajevo, she completed the specialization in epidemiology in 1990. She completed the degree Master of medical sciences in 1997, and the degree Doctor of medical sciences in 2001. She is very active in several fields: public health, epidemiology, travel medicine and occupational health. She published over 170 papers on different topics and attended many international congresses and conferences all over the world (Bern, London, Paris, Athens, Rome, Ankara, Boston, Johannesburg, Singapore, Nairobi etc.). She is a member of the commission for International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the coordinator for non-communicable diseases (WHO) on national level.


Among fundamental human rights are the right to life and the right to health. These two rights are very connected and they are also connected with the process of immunization. Immunization is one of the most important achievements in medicine because introduction of vaccine saved millions of lives on the global plan. „Almost 11 milion children die every year of preventable causes. Milions of people die when lifesaving vaccines and medicines exist , but do not get to those who need them because they or the countries they live in are too poor to pay for or distribute, them“. (UN Secretary- General, Kofi Annan Statement to the 59th Commission on Human Rights, 20 March 2003, Geneva, Switzerland) During the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-1995) different human rights were violated and also the right to life and right to health. From the aspect of immunization, there was a huge problem of providing necessary vaccines, their storage and the implementing of vaccination, and a consequence of those ommisions are visible today in a form of occurence of different vaccine-preventable diseases. In this paper we will show the trend of vaccine-preventable diseases in people who were not vaccinated during the war. The occurence and spread of parotitis and rubella wil be showed separately, as diseases that occured in an outbreak form with a huge number of affected people. Key words: human rights, immunization, Bosnia and Herzegovina

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