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August 4, 1993

Sending Croatian and Bosnian Children for Treatment Abroad

JAMA. 1993;270(5):574. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510050040010

To the Editor.  —The armed conflict in Croatia in 1991 and 1992 has resulted in an estimated 13000 killed and 30000 wounded. Of these, 157 (1.2%) and 669 (2.2%), respectively, were children.1 Forty-one children lost both parents and 5724 lost one.1 There were 250 000 internally displaced persons. Later in 1992, about 400 000 Bosnian refugees settled in Croatia.2 Children make up an estimated 35% of the internally displaced population and 56% of the refugee population. The hospital pediatric capacity of Croatia is 1800 beds. Refugee children accounted for 20% of emergency department visits and 30% of hospitalized children (unpublished data from the Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital Center, Zagreb, Croatia). Due to the scarcity of resources it has become increasingly difficult to maintain the prewar level of medical care.The Committee for the Coordination of Relief and Health Care for Children was charged with sending pediatric