A high-level expert mission from the WHO European Office on strengthening health systems preparedness has completed its work in Turkmenistan. This was reported on November 29 by the UN office in Turkmenistan.
The mission was led by Dorit Nitzan, WHO Regional Director for Emergencies for Europe . “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 took note of the emergence of new variants and the proliferation seen around the world, even in countries with high vaccination coverage, ”she commented on the trip.
An important element of the mission was the discussion with the staff of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture on strengthening the sub-regional capacity in the field of bacteriology and virology based on the principles of One Health. In addition, the mission explored how the genetic sequencing capabilities of viruses can be tuned to help detect COVID-19.
“ 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. All of them require community participation and are based on transparency , ”said Dorit Nitzan.
In addition to supporting Turkmenistan in preparing for COVID-19, WHO experts had the opportunity to visit several health facilities to make recommendations in other areas, including noncommunicable diseases, tobacco control, and health information systems.
The mission members were experts in emergency preparedness and response, noncommunicable diseases, environment and shared health, epidemiology and surveillance, health data and information systems, digital health and innovation. Working together with Turkmen experts, they were able to formulate recommendations based on reliable and scientific evidence, as well as on the experience of other countries in the European Region, the news release said.
The UN recalls that the decision to organize the mission was made during the visit of the WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge to Turkmenistan .
On October 8, Hans Kluge arrived in Ashgabat and held talks with President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov , following which the parties agreed to conduct "in the near future" a WHO technical mission in Turkmenistan to study the genome of the coronavirus. A year earlier, the head of state allowed WHO to conduct independent tests for COVID-19 in the country, but the mission was never able to get to Turkmenistan.
Meanwhile, on November 9, WHO's senior emergency officer, Catherine Smallwood, said that "the COVID-19 pandemic has been spreading around the world for almost two years now, so from a scientific point of view, one can hardly imagine that there is no virus in Turkmenistan."
Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan