Since the coronavirus crisis has made it very difficult to acquire certain medicine in Bosnia, the head of a local association for the mentally disabled in the northern town of Gradiska, Dragoslav Sinik, organised an initiative to procure such medicine and deliver it to special needs children across the country - for free.
“The need is increasing every day, and so far I have been able to deliver all the medication for free – no parent had to pay anything for the delivery or the medicine so far. Our friends from the diaspora help us pay for the medicine, we always look for where it can be bought cheapest,” he told N1.
He added that he is expecting certain medication from Mannheim to come in and that he will go to the border to meet with the drivers bringing it. Then he will either deliver the medicine to those who need it personally or send it via mail.
He explained that he got the idea when a number of parents of children who suffer from epilepsy in Bosnia’s Federation (FBiH) region complained that they can not find a certain kind of syrup their children use anywhere.
“There was still some available in Republika Srpska (RS, the other semi-autonomous region) and I bought it and sent it to them,” he said, adding that he immediately came across more parents of special needs children who shared this problem.
Sinik then realised he had to set up a network in order to help those families.
“I included parents from throughout the region – from Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia. Some of the medication needed a doctor’s prescription. I first contacted transport companies in Gradiska and then they provided me with contacts of their colleagues from the region,” he said.
“Then it all began – the first truck, the fifth, the tenth… Parents from across Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless of the diagnosis, began sending me doctor’s assessments, data and prescriptions and I would organise free transport for the medicine throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he said.
“I would ask a truck driver who may be heading toward Vienna, for example, to take it (the documentation) there. People living there would then organise and purchase the medicine and it would then be brought back here,” he said, adding that his parents who live abroad are also involved in the operation.
“I am in contact with more than 60 families from across Bosnia and Herzegovina, 40 in FBiH and about 20 in the RS, who requested help. I travel some 300 kilometres daily and not one of those families has been left without medicine,” he said.
“Those are all my children,” he added.