Balkans floods: clean-up underway

Following the severe flooding in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia in May, the weather has improved and water levels have fallen. The removal of debris and the cleaning and disinfection of soil, roads and buildings are underway in all three affected countries.

Municipalities are still trying to re-establish services (including those providing electricity, water and transportation) in large parts of the affected areas.

Health effects

The epidemiological situation remains stable in all three countries, with no outbreaks of infectious disease reported from the flood-affected areas. In total, 42 health facilities across the three countries were damaged or destroyed.

WHO response

WHO/Europe’s response to the disaster, managed by its emergency support team, included sending expert missions and delivering emergency health kits to the affected countries. In addition, WHO/Europe now plans to conduct post-disaster needs assessments (PDNAs). In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the collection of data has been completed, and compilation and analysis are underway.

Preparations for a PDNA in Serbia include a training workshop planned for 17–18 June 2014.

PDNAs are made to estimate and quantify the losses to health services and the resources required to rehabilitate damaged health facilities.