Prof. Dr. Emin Tahirović from IUS helping tackle COVID-19 in BiH


We are proud to announce that Prof. Dr. Emin Tahirović from the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences (FENS) at IUS is  a member of an expert team working on the project "Epidemic Location Intelligence System”, meant to perform epidemiological surveillance and analyze COVID-19 data in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The project is under the patronage of President of the Presidency of BiH, Mr. Šefik Džaferović.

National Academy of Sciences and Arts of BiH (ANUBIH), more precisely the Committee for Microbiology and Related Disciplines of the Department of Medical Sciences, headed by academician Prof. Mirsada Hukić, with the support of the company GAUSS, that deals with the application of geoinformation technologies, launched an initiative to establish a geoinformation system to support epidemiological surveillance and the efforts of the authorities to bring the COVID-19 epidemic under control.

Prof. Dr. Emin Tahirović, at the invitation of his associate dr. sci. doc. Fadila Serdarević joined this eminent team. The members of this scientific team are academic Mirsada Hukić, Prof. Dr. Mirza Ponjavic, Prof. Dr. Almir Karabegović, Ph.D. Sci. Elvir Frehatbegović and Dr.Sci. Fadila Serdarević.

"Team members complement each other with their professional profiles, so we have epidemiologists, microbiologists, geoinformatics, and me as a biostatistician. After initial efforts to secure data from the field, we managed to achieve productive communication with Tuzla Canton, Sarajevo Canton, Central Bosnia Canton, Bosnia-Podrinje Canton, Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, Una-Sana Canton and Posavina Canton (in that chronological order). From the official website of the Ministry of Civil Affairs of BiH, we downloaded data at the level of BiH and the two entities of the Republika Srpska and the Federation of BiH. The main focus of our team was on the spatial-temporal presentation and description of the spread of the epidemic, in order to evaluate the epidemiological surveillance and the effectiveness of the established restrictive measures and measures of social distance. We developed compartmental epidemiological models for each of the cantons separately, and compared our parameters of epidemic spread, with simulated situations in our country if scenarios from Spain and Italy occurred. Also, from the obtained data for each of the cantons that shared their data with us, we were able to calculate the daily reproductive number Rt, which describes the average number of infected by the primarily infected within his / her infectious period”, explained Prof. Tahirovic.

He points out that this metric, Rt, is very important for monitoring the spread of infection because it changes depending on the actions and measures taken in society, so when citizens consistently apply precautionary measures respecting social distance, its value decreases.

In the meantime, this research team presented the results and findings to the Chairman of the Presidency of BiH, Mr. Dzaferovic, and after that to the members of ANUBiH, the University Clinical Center in Tuzla and members of the Covid-19 Crisis Staff of the Ministry of Health of KS.

Prof. Tahirović further explains: “We are currently in the phase of writing a scientific paper that we plan to submit soon for expert review with the aim of publishing and developing an interactive website within the ANUBiH domain, where the public will be informed about the ELIS project and visually experience the spatial-temporal expansion of epidemics in BiH. I was really honoured to help and support with my knowledge, experience, and useful information health workers across our countries, who continue to fight the epidemic relentlessly”.

IUS is really proud that our professors contribute their intellect and skills to this planetary fight against the invisible enemy, and we wish them success and perseverance along the way.

Link to project’s presentation to ANUBIH members.