22 март, 2017

The Balkan Peninsula, or the Balkans, is the traditional name of a region in Southeast Europe mostly known for its eventful past, frequently-fought wars, occasional intolerance amongst its peoples, but also for its significant contribution to Europe’s and the world’s cultural history, untouched landscapes, remarkable success in sports and, most of all, proud and courageous inhabitants. The Balkans are populated by residents of different origin and diverse cultural, socio-political and religious views. Immense are the differences in economic and geopolitical status of particular Balkan countries. Some are politically and economically stable, developed countries and are members of the European Union. Others are politically unstable, economically undeveloped and no more than potential candidates for entering the European Union. However, despite these differences, we are connected through shared history and geographical area, some through a shared language, as well as relatively similar desires and possibilities.

One of the primary aims of The Balkan Cities Association of Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation and Artificial Organs (BANTAO), founded in 1993. in Ohrid, is to promote and encourage scientific and technological cooperation in the field of renal medicine, including transplantations and artificial organs. BANTAO provides us with the possibility to exchange experiences and knowledge, to educate one another and work on collaborating professional and scientific projects. So far 12 extremely successful BANTAO congresses have been held, and as of 2007 they have been followed by CME courses. All of us, nephrologists from the Balkans, can testify to the fact that our professional and scientific gatherings always include the most acknowledged experts from Europe and the rest of the world, and are highly efficient, educational and inspiring for future professional and scientific progress and improved treatment of those suffering from kidney disease in our region. Another important success of BANTAO is the semi-annual BANTAO journal introduced in 2003 and is becoming a highly regarded publication in the realm of nephrology.

BANTAO represents a successful model of cooperation in the Balkans and makes our borders less noticeable. To that end, we need to continue our cooperation in a friendly, i.e. BANTAO spirit that carries local as well as global significance in present time. We hope for a qualitative professional and scientific Congress in Sarajevo in October 2017, followed throughout by socializing, renewing existing and making new professional acquaintances as well as friendships.

Looking forward to seeing you, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.