ECCO Country Member Profile: Serbia

Srdjan Djuranovic, Mirjana Cvetkovic, ECCO National Representatives, Serbia

Mirjana Cvetkovic
© Mirjana Cvetkovic

Srdjan Djuranovic
© Srdjan Djuranovic


Name of group: 
Serbian IBD Association - SIBDA 

Number of active members: 250
Number of meetings per year: 
Steering Committee meetings: 6 per year, 1 General Assembly per year
Educational meetings: 2 meetings/workshops annually
Patient relations meetings: 1 per year and on demand
President and Secretary: 
Aleksandra Sokic Milutinovic, President
Zoran Milenkovic, Secretary

National Representatives: Srdjan Djuranovic and Mirjana Cvetkovic
Joined ECCO in:  As an association in 2012; we have had National Representatives since the foundation of ECCO
Incidence of IBD in the country (if available): 
Not available at this time.

What has changed since your society became an ECCO Country Member?

The IBD Community in Serbia is better recognised, with an increased number of meetings and larger membership. The IBD register is continuously updated, and there is also a register for IBD pregnant women and pregnancy outcomes. There is ongoing good and fruitful collaboration with the patient association, UKUKS. National guidelines for diagnostics and therapy have been updated in accordance with ECCO Guidelines. Through workshops and educational meetings, live and online, we have spread knowledge among patients and health care providers about critical issues related to early detection, appropriate diagnosis, application of newer techniques and incorporation of the latest evidence on optimal therapy for IBD. A significant step was taken when both ECCO and our own association started to include nurses, young physicians, researchers and patients in regular activities.

What are the benefits to you of being an ECCO Country Member?

Membership offers greater dissemination of professional and scientific information. Scholarships are available that enable young doctors to participate at the IBD Intensive Course for Trainees during ECCO Congress. The ECCO Travel Award has previously been granted to a young doctor from our country. ECCO has also been very supportive to nurses, helping them to become specialised in IBD. During the period of the COVID-19 pandemic, the educational content of the on-site ECCO Guidelines was very informative and timely, providing the information necessary to cope with the newly arisen challenges.

Is your society making use of the ECCO Guidelines?

Yes. Serbian National Representatives have been very active during the preparation of ECCO Guidelines and also in the implementation of new ones. Several national guidelines have been produced in accordance with ECCO Guidelines.

Have you developed links with other countries through your ECCO Country Membership? 

Yes, we have developed links with neighbouring countries not only in South-East Europe but also all around Europe.

Have you developed research projects with other countries through your ECCO Country Membership?

No, but we are looking to join new projects.

Have you developed educational activities with other countries through your ECCO Country Membership?

Yes, we have had a masterclass and educational workshops with international attendance.

Has your country been involved in a fellow exchange through ECCO?

Yes, our young doctors attend the IBD Intensive Course for Trainees and have made use of the ECCO Travel Award.

What are your main areas of research interest?

Novel biological therapies through clinical studies.

Does your centre or country have a common IBD database or bio bank?  

Yes, we have a national IBD register.

What are your most prestigious/interesting past and ongoing projects?

  • Organising multidisciplinary educational workshops and meetings.
  • Establishment of a grant award to support young gastroenterologists in undertaking PhDs in the field of IBD.
  • Improvement and continuous updating of the IBD register.
  • Production of guidelines for the treatment and management of IBD patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are your aims for the future? 

  • To further enhance IBD knowledge at the national level with the help of educational events.
  • To increase activities in clinical and scientific research.
  • To increase participation at future ECCO Educational Workshops.
  • To organise a future ECCO Educational Workshop.
  • The main aim of SIBDA is to improve the quality of health care for patients with IBD. We will try to disseminate knowledge to patients and health care providers on critical issues regarding early detection, appropriate diagnosis, implementation of newer techniques and incorporation of recent evidence on the optimal therapy for IBD.

How do you see ECCO helping you to fulfil these aims? 

By connecting and providing clear information in a timely manner: ECCO should support different clinical and scientific projects.

What do you use ECCO for? Network? Congress? How do you use the things/services that ECCO has to offer?

  • Congress
  • Use of the e-CCO Learning Platform
  • Use of the ECCO Guidelines
  • Use of the Journal of Crohn's and Colitis
  • We use ECCO in many ways, taking advantage of all the provided opportunities

Posted in ECCO News, ECCO Country Member Profiles, Volume 16, Issue 3