Representatives of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Republika Srpska, in cooperation with relevant partners carried out a comprehensive assessment of the health and social needs of the population in Celinac, Mrkonjic Grad and Knezevo municipalities. As part of that analysis, concrete measures were proposed to improve the provision of community nursing services.  Also, key local partners for formal and improved inter-professional and inter-institutional cooperation were identified and a network of key local partners for community nursing support created.

In this regard, on 25 July 2023 the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Republika Srpska, with the project’s support, organized in Primary Health Care Center Celinac the first out of three planned workshops for representatives of three municipalities in Republika Srpska: Celinac, Mrkonjic Grad and Knezevo. The representatives of four "additional" Primary Health Care Centers: Istocni Drvar, Sipovo, Kotor Varos and Ribnik also attended the workshop.

In addition to representatives of the management of the aforementioned primary health care centers, the representatives of previously identified key local partners for improvement of community nursing services in the municipalities of Celinac, Mrkonjic Grad and Knezevo - mayors, representatives of Centers for Social Work and Red Cross - also attended the workshop.

Among other things, the results of the performed health and social needs assessment in three mentioned municipalities, as well as proposed measures for community nursing services improvement were presented to the attendees. The implementation of the proposed measures will be supported by the project in the coming period, while the municipalities, as the founders of the primary health care centers, will play a main role.

According to the World Health Organization assessment, the contribution of medical services of a well-developed health system to improving the health of the population is only 15%. The rest of 85% of the contribution is made by other sectors: social, economic, educational, non-governmental and others. These data are not surprising if we take into account the very definition of health, which represents a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not just the absence of illness and infirmity.

Community nursing, out of all forms of nursing care, demonstrates the best the benefits of synergy between health care and other key sectors, primarily the social sector. In this way, community nurses will, in their full capacity, be able to provide health promotion, disease prevention, nursing care and rehabilitation, and ensure a holistic approach to nursing care in the community and a proactive role in preserving their health.

The Strengthening Nursing in BiH project recognized the importance of interprofessional and interdisciplinary cooperation in community nursing and, within the project component covering the expansion and improvement of nursing services in the community, planned various activities to formalize and improve this cooperation. The ultimate goal of these activities is to form a network of key local partners to support community nursing in selected municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.