Macedonian Hematology Association (MHA) has decades of history. The beginnings of the Association date back to the existence of the former country, federation of Yugoslavia. Association followed the way of development of the Macedonian state and the Macedonian scientific thought, which have caused several necessary transformations.
In former Yugoslavia, the Yugoslav Society of Hematology and Blood Transfusion existed, in which Macedonian authorities had a prominent position due to the high level of proficiency in all aspects of hematology. In Macedonia functioned Section of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, inside Macedonian Doctors Union. Over time, Transfusion  Association separated (as far more numerous), and ever since we exist as an Macedonian Hematology Association.
In the first years of independence of Macedonia, Department of Hematology remained without its founders and teachers, four notable professors and one Primarius specializing in internal medicine and hematology: Todor Stojcevski, Jonce Nedelkovski, Nenad Markovic, Nikola Siljanovski and Risto Stojanovski. Prof. Stojcevski has a special place and meaning, as the initiator and implementer of the idea of forming the Clinic of Hematology, (i.e. its separation from the Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion) which provides him with the position of the founder of the Macedonian hematology. He is the initiator of a draft for BMT in Macedonia, something that was later realized by his students. Another professor from the "older" generation has left its significant mark in the development of the clinic, guiding it in most of the next fifteen years, it was Prof. Nicola Siljanovski. It is important to point out that young doctors, since the beginning of independency  of R. Macedonia, have successfully passed their expert and educational development and now make the teaching staff at the Clinic. Colleagues born in the 60s, 70s and even the 80s of the last century represent the future of hematology in our country. In the current leading professional team of the Department of Hematology prominent role have Prof. Dr. Lidija Cevrevska, longtime successful director of the Clinic, Prof. Dr. Borce Georgievski, founder of the unit for transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells, Prof.  Dr. Aleksandar Stojanovic and Prof. Dr. Oliver Karanfilski, president of the Macedonian Hematology Association in the previous mandate (2011-2015), which set high standards in the operation, being also the organizer of the First Congress of the Macedonian Hematology Association with international participation.
Pediatric segment similarly was left by three big names: Prof. Dr. Avram Sadikario, Prim. Budimir Mladenovski and Prof. Dr. Nikola Zisovski. Three years ago, two prominent professors, Prof. Dr. Olivera Muratovska and Prof. Dr. Sofijanka Glamocanin retired. The current teaching staff in pediatric hematology compose: Prof. Dr. Kata Martinova and Doc. Dr. Svetlana Kocheva.
Current team of specialists - hematologists, adult and pediatric, faces challenges encountered in society as whole, strives to maintain quality in current solutions, continuously monitors the contemporary achievements and methods, remaining open to new ideas, methods and procedures, in order to improve the sector based on profound analysis and positive global experience.
In the course of its existence, the Association, through its actions, has achieved significant results and a solid foundation in professional development and ascent, following the modern trends in hematology and adherence to the recommendations and guidelines of the World Professional Associations practicing evidence based medicine. In the forthcoming period, the emphasis would certainly be placed on:

  • Strengthening of multi-disciplinary approach: promotion of cooperation with other related branches of medicine, defining mutually acceptable, standard communication and data exchange; improving the flow in complex processes, and the inclusion of additional participants in the processes;
  • In this regard, standardization of procedures, as the foundation of a system of standardized procedures with measurable parameters that provide continual improvements in order to achieve benefit primarily for patients but also for medical staff;
  • Preparation of guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of hematological diseases, according to priority;
  • Monitoring and analysis of the human resources potential in terms of the needs of scientific and clinical activities, and presenting reports annually in order to continuously improve the Sector;
  • Initiatives in providing spacious and technical and technological enviro nment for proper practice of the profession;
  • Encouraging research capabilities and actions of its members;
  • Cooperation and networking with related national and international organizations, as permanent or associate members or observers;
  • Cooperation in checking the efficiency and effectiveness of new drugs in the field of hematology and proposals for their registration;
  • Proposals and supporting plans for coverage of professional staff with training on the applicable (within the the capabilities of Macedonia) new and innovative methods of prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
  • Organizing scientific and professional conferences and seminars with international participation in the country, and participation of the most important congresses for hematology with our materials and professional - scientific papers.

Within this framework is the organization of the Second Congress of the Macedonian Hematology Association with international participation (Skopje, 18-20 April 2017).
From the point of view of the members of the Association, the benefits would be primarily in maintaining and raising the high level of expert authority and high professional competence, both in everyday medical practice and in teaching - scientific activities.

MHA members and their activities
Macedonian Hematology Association counts only very few members. Regular members come from two institutions: University Clinic of Hematology, and the Department of Hematology and Oncology at the University Pediatric Clinic in Skopje. Regular members of the Association counts 29 specialists from both institutions. Staff in adult hematology has 23 professionals, including 15 doctors of medical sciences, staff with extensive experience and knowledge caring for patients nationwide. In pediatric hematology work 6 specialists, 3 of which are doctors of medical sciences, and 1 Master. Doctors - pediatrician hematologist-oncologists take care of children from all around the country with benign and malignant hematological problems and with all solid tumors, including malignant tumors of the central nervous system as the most common malignant solid tumors.
The Association members cooperate with  professionals from other specialties, closely related to hematology: oncologists, transfusiologists, radiologists, surgeons, pathologists, microbiologists, immunologists, experts in molecular biology, genetics and nuclear medicine and others. Specialists and staff of these branches of medicine jointly contribute in solving complex medical problems for which a multidisciplinary approach is necessary.

Due to lack of differentiated hematologists (adult and pediatric) in dispersed centers in Macedonia, there is a centralized approach and great congestion both at the Clinic for Hematology and Hematology-Oncology department of the University Pediatric Clinic in Skopje. The status of the only institutions that treat hematological problems in Macedonia require specific approach and careful management of specialized professional staff. The process of creating top staff is long and complicated, requires high professionalism, motivation, commitment and professionalism of the candidates, so that the continuity and objective selection is of primary importance.

Modern diagnostic and therapeutic approach in hematological diseases
A modern diagnostics of malignant and non-malignant hematological diseases in adult patients and pediatric patients is established in R. Macedonia. The prompt diagnosis of hematological diseases and stratification of patients in appropriate risk groups for treatment, determines the success of treatment and outcome of the disease. In our two institutions, as well as in other university clinics and institutes, there is equipment that diagnoses all hematological diseases, cytomorphology, patohistology, flowcytometry, cytogenetic and molecular genetics analyzes - which all are part of the diagnostic algorithm in hematology. The existing equipment is upgraded and renewed in order to allow modern therapeutic approach to the patients with the most severe hematological malignancies. Analyzes carried out each year on the University Clinic of Hematology in Skopje shows that the number of hematologic malignancies annually in adult patients is slightly increasing.
In the pediatric segment, in the last twenty years, the number of newly diagnosed cases with malignant deseases ranges between 30-40 children, aged 0-14 years, annually.

Monitoring and application of new medical advances in operative treatment of patients
Hematologists - MHA members - follow the developments in medical treatments and modern therapeutic approaches, protocols, combinations of different types of therapy, radiation therapy and transplantation, through annual educational meetings, congresses and symposia. Many members of MHA are active members of European and international associations of hematologists, where they share their experience and knowledge with other colleagues from Europe and the US. At the same time, they participate in conducting numerous clinical trials for treatment of various hematological malignancies, which is of great importance for recognition of our institutions internationally. Thanks to these studies, patients who were part of these studies were treated with contemporary and expensive drug therapy - chemotherapy drugs, biological therapy with monoclonal antibodies and concentrates of coagulation factors, which in that period were not available in our country. Simultaneously education of doctors hematologists in European centers was performed in the field of unrelated alogeneic transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells as the only curative method in the treatment of these patients. In the year 2000, in the Center of stem cell transplantation at the University Clinic for Hematology, were realized the first interventions in R. Macedonia related to alogeneic and autologous transplantation. In the following 15 years a total of 360 transplantations were realized in patients with malignant and non-malignant hematological diseases and solid tumors, including 6 transplantations in children, in cooperation with the University Pediatric Clinic Hematology-Oncology Department. Annually, 40 interventions are realized, of which one third are related alogeneic transplantations of hematopoietic stem cells, and the remaining are autologous transplants.
The establishment of the Center for Hemophilia is a joint project of the Clinic of Hematology, Department of Hematology and Oncology at the University Pediatric Clinic and the Institute for Transfusion Medicine. The Center provides contemporary diagnosis and therapy not only for hemophilia, but also for other related bleeding disorders.
Prof. Dr. Kata Martinova
President of the Macedonian Hematology Association