HRH CROWN PRINCESS KATHERINE AND DR. VANA LAVIDAS VISIT BELGRADE HOSPITALS AND ATTEND OPENING OF SPECIAL GYM FOR THE DISABLED
Belgrade, 5 December – HRH Crown Princess Katherine and her guest Dr. Vana Lavidas visited the Institute of Neurology at the Clinical Center of Serbia today, as well as the Neurological ward of the University Pediatric Clinic and the Institute for neuro-muscular disorders.
Afterwards Princess Katherine and Dr. Lavidas attended the opening of the first gym specially designed for the disabled, in the Sport Center of Banjica, that was donated by the Japanese Embassy in Belgrade.
Mrs. Vana Lavidas is the Chairman of the Board of MDA HELLAS, an association that takes care of people suffering from neuromuscular disorders, which was established in January 2000 by the group of individuals in cooperation with the experts from different areas of medicine who deal with the problem of muscular dystrophy.
Mrs. Lavidas is the wife of Dr. Thanasis Lavidas, owner of the largest Greek pharmaceutical company “Lavipharm”, the production of which covers 90% of Greek pharmaceutical market, and also the Chairman of the Hellenic Entrepreneurs Association who has great reputation in the world of international business.
At the meeting at the Institute of Neurology, Dr. Apostolski and his colleagues, experts in the field of muscular dystrophy, talked to Mrs. Lavidas about the possibility of organizing a conference for the Associations of Muscular Dystrophy of Yugoslavia and Greece, in which experiences would be exchanged and a better cooperation in the field of treating this disease would be established.
Dr. Apostolski has presented the work of the Institute of Neurology, that was detached from the Psychiatric Ward in 1982, and the problems that this health institution is facing because of the lack of funds for purchasing medical equipment and medicines.
Princess Katherine and Dr. Lavidas then visited the Association for Multiple Sclerosis within the Institute of Neurology. The Chairman, Mrs. Tanja Dakic is also a multiple sclerosis patient, and she told about great problems that people suffering from this disease are facing daily, because health insurance does not cover the expenses of purchasing medicines, that annually take over €12,000.
Mrs. Lavidas expressed her understanding of the difficult situation and said she would try to help through her contacts.
During the visit to the University Pediatric Clinic and the Institute of Neuro-muscular disorders, Princess Katherine and Dr. Lavidas talked to the employees, learned about working conditions and took the round of the patients.
HRH Crown Princess and her guest attended the opening of the first gym specially designed for the disabled in the Sport Center of Banjica.
The donor of this gym is the Embassy of Japan in Belgrade, and His Excellency the Ambassador of Japan Mr. Joshiki Mine formally opened this sport facility.
The main organizer of this project is the Chairman of Serbian Association of Dystrophy Mr. Predrag Cvetkovic, and the ceremony was attended by the Deputy Prime Minister of Serbian Government Mr. Zarko Korac and the representatives of Serbian Ministry of Education and Sport and the Ministry of Social Affairs.
Mr. Cvetkovic first thanked the Embassy of Japan as the donor of this gym that will enable the disabled to regain their self-confidence through rehabilitation, and thus to be included in everyday activities.
He also pointed out the great importance of the work of professional water polo players from “Partizan” club, and the Chairman of the Board of this club Mr. Igor Milanovic, who have worked for 16 years with the disabled, on the program of rehabilitation and preparation for European and other international championships.
The Ambassador of Japan, HE Mr. Joshiki Mine expressed his pleasure for the donation will aid in rehabilitation of the disabled, and pointed out that the Embassy of Japan will continue to aid our health institutions and citizens’ associations.
Princess Katherine addressed the press by commending the Embassy’s effort and emphasized:
“I believe there will be many more gatherings like this and this gym will not be the only one. I am convinced that only by working together in these programs we can help those who are the neediest.”
She also presented her guest Mrs.Vana Lavidas and the activities of her association.
Mrs. Vana Lavidas said after visiting Belgrade’s health institutions today that she will use her contacts in raising humanitarian aid and through the Foundation of HRH Crown Princess Katherine in helping our health care system, which is in a very difficult situation.