News archive


21. February 2011.

The village of Gramada, which is situated in the ground security zone, is regularly visited only by doctors from the Vranje-based 4th Brigade of the Army of Serbia. When their jeeps arrive, elderly women, although limping, come out to the gates of their houses to greet and meet them. Afterwards, in low- ceiling rooms where they both sleep and eat, since those are the only rooms that are heated, they readily stretch out their hands, so that their blood-pressure could be taken and they put the received boxes with medicines on their window sills.

Doctors, Major Sasa Dimitrijevic and Captain Ivica Arsic, talk with the inhabitants of Gramada as if they had known them for ages. They know which granny suffers from arthritis, as well as those that have heart problems and those whose sons are employed in Vranje.
Those doctors can’t refer their patients to specialists, but they can recommend them to go to the doctor’s surgery in Bujanovac or Vranje. However, the inhabitants of Gramda are elderly, the roads are poor, health centers are a long way away, so that very often those medical examinations are the only ones. The major task of the 4th Brigade officers is to watch the ground security zone, a territory that stretches along the administrative line with Kosovo. It is around 100 km long and 5km wide.   The officers are accommodated in Vranje and they spend three weeks in the field. While making fun at their own expanse, they say that they are a “muddy brigade”.  Apart from maintaining security and safety, they’re also tasked with building roads, providing medical assistance and delivering water. They deliver water to both Serbian and Albanian villagers whenever there is a lack of water due to draughts.

Inter-ethnic relations in the region are strained, and members of the 4th brigade cooperate with the Albanian population, too.

On the same day when they visited the village of Gramada, military doctors paid a visit to a school in Dobrosin, which is an Albanian village situated right next to the administrative line with Kosovo. Since there is no surgery in Dobrosin, parents, at this time of flu, brought their children to be medically examined by military doctors.