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August 7, 1996

Effects of War on the Health Care of Bosnian Children

Author Affiliations

The Floating Hospital for Children New England Medical Center Boston, Mass
Sarajevo Pedijatrijska Klinika Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

JAMA. 1996;276(5):370-371. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540050030011

To the Editor.  —During the nearly 4 years that Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia-Herzegovina, was under siege, 1602 children were killed and 14952 were injured,1 and 37% of the population became refugees.2 The city was isolated from the world community and experienced extended periods without food, running water, electricity, or natural gas. The Sarajevo Pedijatrijska Klinika, the main children's hospital for the city and a tertiary referral center for Bosnia, was directly shelled and completely destroyed.3 This disruption continues to affect the health care of Bosnian children even after the Dayton peace accord brought an end to fighting in the area.2We interviewed the families of all 60 children (mean age 4.1, median 2.9, 1 day to 14.5 years; 35 boys, 25 girls) admitted during February 1996 to the relocated Klinika. Information obtained included age, sex, anthropometric measurements, diagnoses, injuries sustained by the children and