BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb. 14
Today PROACT-Care project was launched in Shamakhi with an event that brought together the key partners and stakeholders of the project. The project aims to strengthen primary healthcare capacity in Shamakhi district to respond to the interruption of essential health care services in the context of COVID-19 and beyond, especially for vulnerable populations, and at the same time, create a real-life demonstration of a primary healthcare model tailored for Azerbaijan, which could then be scaled-up to the whole country.
The project is implemented by WHO Azerbaijan and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UkAid, RoAid, and Universal Health Coverage Partnership initiative (a joint initiative of WHO and its partners). WHO Azerbaijan partners with the Executive Power of Shamakhi District, Ministry of Health of Azerbaijan, State Agency for Mandatory health Insurance, TABIB, Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNICEF, and UNFPA for implementation of the project.
“Our healthcare workers are continually working towards updating knowledge and skills to successfully carry out their crucial mission under difficult pandemic conditions. On behalf of them, I am expressing deep graduate to everyone who gathered here today to support addressing their learning needs” stated Tahir Mammadov, Head of Shamakhi District Executive Power. He also presented a geo-analytic healthcare map of Shamakhi developed to help to tackle COVID-19 in the district. “Using this map, which contains information on all Shamakhi healthcare facilities and services provided in them,real-time healthcare data is accumulated and visualized, and reports are generated. Information about the situation with COVID-19 and vaccination in Shamakhi is also visible on the map,” Tahir Mammadov said.
"USAID is proud to support the launch of the project on strengthening primary healthcare and training program for healthcare workers. Healthcare workers have been at the frontline of the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic which proved that doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers in health facilities are critical to our daily lives and are vital in ensuring economic prosperity", said Dr. Jay Singh, Mission Director for USAID/Azerbaijan. He also added that the U.S. government will continue to work with Azerbaijan to end the pandemic.
“Through the PROACT-Care Project, the people of Shamakhi will have better access to quality primary health care services, provided by qualified teams, equipped with modern medical equipment for diagnosis and treatment,” Dr Hande Harmanci, WHO Representative in Azerbaijan said in the event. According to her, strong primary healthcare system the project aims to build in Shamakhi, will result in longer life expectancy and years lived in good health, lower health care costs, optimize health care funding and enhance productivity.
Min Yuan, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Azerbaijan said,“UNICEF will work closely with WHO in contributing to the PROACT-Care project with the focus on improvement of maternal and child health care services as a key component of the primary heathcaresystem in Azerbaijan.” According to her, existing training packages of UNICEF will be introducted to Shamakhi healthcare workers to enhance capacity of local health providers on delivering essential maternal and child health and nutrition services at primary heathcare level.
Soltan Mammadov, Head of the International Relations Department of Heydar Aliyev Foundation and member of the Health Committee of the Parliament of Azerbaijan thanked PROACT-Care project partners for the implementation of the project in Shamakhi and expressed his support replication of it in other regions of Azerbaijan. He noted that Heydar Aliyev Foundation had already built several primary healthcare facilities in Shamakhi and would continue to support initiatives directed at strengthening primary healthcare elsewhere.
The participants of the event visited Shamakhi Training Center which started to train the first group of local healthcare workers on 4thFebruary 2021. The center, that is created as part of the PROACT-Training project implemented by UNICEF with financial support of USAID and technical support of WHO, will provide training to approximately 400 healthcare workers from Shamakhi and surrounding districts by the end of May 2021 in the fields of primary health care and COVID-19 response. Afterward, the center will continue serving Shamakhi healthcare workers as a local training facility under Shamakhi Central District Hospital.
PROACT-Care project partners also visited village primary health care facilities in Charhan and Gushchu villages of Shamakhi district where they had an opportunity to meet with healthcare workers and community members and discuss local primary healthcare needs.