EU-WHO Solidarity for Health Initiative has shared project outcomes

(Source: EEAS)

The European Union (EU) and World Health Organization (WHO) joint Solidarity for Health Initiative has shared project outcomesThe Project carried out over two years since April 2020 to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is part of the continued assistance of the EU and WHO to Azerbaijan. The Solidarity for Health Initiative aims to help build a sustainable response capacity to potential pandemics in the future.

The closing ceremony was held with participation of Dr Nadir Zeynalov, the Deputy Minister of Health of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Dr Hande Harmanci, WHO Representative and Head of Country Office in Azerbaijan, Dr Firangiz Aliyeva, the Advisor to the Charman of the Executive Board of the Administration of Regional Medical Divisions (TABIB), Mr Crtomir Fisinger, the Political Counsellor at the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan, as well as other international and local counterparts, project beneficiaries and healthcare workers.

Dr Tural Gulu, the Project Officer, has presented the outcomes reached during the period of project implementation. It was reported that 521 pieces of medical equipment including 6 ventilators and a BiPAP device, 81 patient monitors, 141 oxygen concentrators and 229 pulse oximeters were delivered to health facilities across the country. At the same time, over 1 million personal protective equipment and 17,600 hand hygiene supplies were delivered to keep COVID-19 frontline responders safe.

To strengthen COVID-19 response capacity, 7,800 healthcare workers, medical students, spokesperson, and media representatives were trained within the project. Moreover, the Azerbaijan Page of OpenWHO online training platform has been launched. Within a short period of time, cumulative course registrations made by Azerbaijani healthcare workers on the platform increased tenfold up to 18,000 enrollments.

The Project provided technical support to national health partners in various areas to strengthen the fight and response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including support in updating the national guidelines on COVID-19 case management as well as in establishing and operations of the National Working Group on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC). The IPC capacity in 23 medical facilities, the COVID-19 case management in 5 facilities, and the oxygen supply and use in 7 facilities were assessed and recommendations provided. Within the Solidarity for Health Initiative psychologists and social workers provided mental health and psycho-social assistance over nine months to the two biggest mental facilities in the country.

The importance of strengthening COVID-19 preparedness and response capacity in the support of the Ministry of Health, the State Agency on Mandatory Health Insurance (SAMHI), TABIB, and other national counterparts was highlighted during the event. EU-WHO projects keep supporting the health system in Azerbaijan to contribute to the health and safety of the next generations.

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