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Side Effects of NATO's Yugoslavia Campaign: Cancer, Sterility & Mental Disorders

© AFP 2023 / ALEXANDER NEMENOV Yugoslav soldiers walk on Murino bridge alledgedly damaged by NATO air strikes, some 130 km from Podgorica, 02 May 1999
Yugoslav soldiers walk on Murino bridge alledgedly damaged by NATO air strikes, some 130 km from Podgorica, 02 May 1999 - Sputnik International
Aleksandra Stanic - Serbia is planning to carry out scientific research on the effects of the 1999 NATO campaign in Yugoslavia and to prove that there's a connection between the deplorable public health trends and the damage caused by NATO bombs.

According to Serbian oncologists, the number of cancer patients in the country is on the rise, and the mortality rate among them is increasing. The situation with infertility, autoimmune diseases, and mental disorders in Serbia is also alarming.

"Twenty years after the bombing of Yugoslavia, we are seeing an increase in oncological diseases, primarily systemic ones, such as lymphomas and leukaemia, and then solid cancerous tumours. And the most tragic thing is that, compared with the European average, we have 2.5 times more children with cancer". 

This is what a nation's "medical record" looks like two decades after NATO's "humanitarian operation" against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), according to Professor Danica Grujicic, PhD, Head of the Neuro-Oncology Department at the Clinical Centre of Serbia. Cancer, however, is not the only issue on the rise.

"The second problem is autoimmune diseases. Today, there isn't a free spot at the Clinic of Allergology and Immunology. It wasn't like that before",  Professor Grujicic told Sputnik. In addition, according to Grujicic, the situation with infertility became worse after the country was bombed.

READ MORE: 20 Years On: Timeline of NATO's War Against Yugoslavia

"We have a 100% increase in male infertility. If before you took 100 couples who were receiving infertility treatment: in 40% of the cases there was a problem with the woman, in 20% with the man and in 40% it was not clear what the problem was. Today — 40% are issues with women, 40% with men, and in another 20% the cause is unknown", she explained.

In Serbia, 20,000 people die from cancer every year and more than 30,000 people fall ill. More than 60 million euros a year are spent on drugs for cancer patients in Serbia, while six years ago 9.6 million euros was allocated. This is shown by data published by the Serbian Cancer Society on the basis of information from the Republican Statistical Agency and the Institute of Public Health of Serbia "Dr. Milan Jovanovic Batut".

The percentage of cancer deaths is one of the highest in Europe, which is partly a consequence of the bombing, according to oncologist Slobodan Cikaric from the Cancer Society.

"For solid tumours that make up 95% of all cancers, they are lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate, brain, intestinal cancer, gynaecological tumours, etc., the latent period ranges from 10 to 30, even 30 years. Which means it's not even over yet. The effects of depleted uranium can last for another 10 years", the expert said. 

Serb civilians and reporters walk around a residential area damaged during a NATO attack on a neighboring army compound (300 kilometers south of Belgrade), Wednesday, April 28, 1999. - Sputnik International
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According to psychologist Zarko Trebjesanin, who worked with children during the bombing, the mental state of many Serbs also changed after the NATO aggression. About 8.8% suffer from the post-traumatic stress disorder.

A study among the civilian population revealed a significant number of mental and psychological problems that are a direct consequence of the bombing.

"It is indicative that 10-15 years on we see a large increase in the intake of sedatives, which makes it clear how gravely people are traumatised. Of course, I do not think that there's an increase only here, but perhaps here it's growing more intensively. We see a large number of people who are constantly in a state of nervous excitement or in complete apathy", Trebjesanin explained.

The cause-effect relationship of the bombings and the growing rate of certain illnesses among Serbs is now being investigated by a coordinating body under the patronage of the Ministry of Environmental Protection of Serbia that was formed almost a year ago (12 June 2018 — Sputnik).

READ MORE: 1999 NATO Bombing Inevitable Given Expansion Plans — Ex-Yugoslav Minister

All types of specialists — physicians, chemists, military experts will be engaged in collecting and analyzing historical and field data. Studies will be carried out in accordance with recognised international methodology, and whether they will become the basis for filing a lawsuit against NATO — this decision remains with the authorities.

Neurosurgeon Danica Grujicic is certain that it is Serbia's duty to all mankind and other countries affected by the Alliance's aggressive invasions to investigate the consequences and prove their link to the bombing, including the use of depleted uranium:

"Serbia is the only country that can do this; neither can poor Libya, nor Syria, nor Iraq, nor Afghanistan. So, we have to do this for the whole world, to show what a crime it is. After all, they deliberately bombed all these targets, that were marked as high risk on the map. That is, you know that you are causing an environmental disaster and still bombing. Wait, it's genocide! NATO is a genocidal organisation!"

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