On 6 May 2020, two Italian military doctors arrived at Sarajevo International Airport by C-130 aircraft. They were met by the Italian Ambassador to BiH, H.E. Nicola Minasi, the BiH Minister of Civil Affairs, Ms. Ankica Gudeljević, and the Senior National Representative for the Italian contingent in EUFOR, Lieutenant Colonel Mauro Nazzi.
Lieutenant Colonel Nazzi said: “I am very happy to welcome my fellow countrymen to Bosnia and Herzegovina on behalf of EUFOR. I hope that they will be of great assistance to the hospitals and healthcare system in BiH.”
The doctors will spend three months in Bosnia and Herzegovina, supporting the UN and visiting hospitals to share their first-hand knowledge and experience of dealing with the COVID-19 crisis in Italy. They will assist BiH hospitals to implement best practice to help the local response. During this time they will come under the EUFOR chain of command.
Before deploying to BiH, they underwent special training at the main military hospital in Rome, learning from the experiences accumulated by the Italian armed forces during the crisis. The doctors have brought with them personal protective equipment (PPE) for use during their stay, reducing reliance on local services.
Major G. Pasquale, from the ‘Pozzuolo del Friuli’ Brigade, in Gorizia, and Major T. Marino, from the ‘Julia’ Brigade, in Udine, are both from the north eastern region of Italy. They have been directly involved in the Italian response to COVID-19.