A weekly high-level mission from the European Office of the World Health Organization has completed its work in Turkmenistan aimed at strengthening the preparedness of the national health system, especially in light of the global emergency caused by the pandemic. This was reported on the website of the UN Office in Turkmenistan.
WHO Regional Director for Emergencies for Europe, Head of Mission, Dr Dorit Nitzan, commented:
“During our visit, we aimed to highlight the changing nature of the pandemic across the region due to the spread of the delta variant. We also noticed the emergence of new variants and the proliferation seen around the world, even in countries with high vaccination coverage.”
It was decided to organize the mission during the visit to Turkmenistan of the WHO Regional Director for Europe, Dr. Hans Kluge. In discussions with the Minister of Health and Medical Industry and the Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan, priorities were identified, and these are: medical diplomacy, emergency preparedness, epidemiology and surveillance capacity, digitalization and innovation, as well as regional health initiatives such as the development of the Roadmap health care for the countries of Central Asia, the source notes.
The WHO multidisciplinary team included experts in disaster preparedness and response, noncommunicable diseases, environment and shared health, epidemiology and surveillance, health data and information systems, digital health and innovation.
Based on a week-long collaboration with Turkmen experts, they formulated recommendations based on reliable data, scientific approach and the experience of other countries in the European Region.
According to the source, one of the important components of the mission was a discussion with specialists from the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry and the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment to strengthen the subregional capacities in the field of bacteriology and virology based on the principles of One Health.
The mission also explored the possibilities of tweaking the genetic sequence of viruses to help detect COVID-19.
In conclusion, Dorit Nitzan clarified:
“The mission stressed the need to intensify efforts to detect COVID-19. Timely reporting of cases is a must, as it allows for additional response tools: contact tracing; quarantine; ensuring adequate care and proper case management; adaptation of measures to the epidemiological situation; observation and testing. They all require community involvement and are based on transparency.”
WHO experts had the opportunity to visit several health facilities to make recommendations in areas such as noncommunicable diseases, smoking control and national health information systems, the source said.
Earlier, we reported that a WHO delegation arrived in Turkmenistan.