EU COVID-response to contribute to long-term health systems resilience in Central Asia
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Aug. 19
By Nargiz Sadikhova - Trend:
EU Central Asia COVID-19 Crisis Response (CACCR) will contribute towards longer-term resilience of the national health systems of the Central Asian countries, Delegation of the European Union to Kazakhstan told Trend.
The delegation representative noted that the COVID-19 pandemic calls for a large-scale and coordinated global response to protect all people, save lives and tackle the economic fallout.
"Now is the time for international solidarity and leadership, not isolation. As one of the global leaders, on April 8, 2020, the EU has launched a so-called Team Europe package to support partner countries and to fight COVID-19 on a global scale, with more than 20 billion euros," the representative said.
The delegation's representative explained that the objective of the Team Europe approach is to combine resources from the EU, its Member States and financial institutions.
"In the framework of this program, the EU alone is redirecting more than 15.6 billion euros to tackle immediate needs, strengthen the health, water and sanitation systems, and to address the economic and social consequences in partner countries. And Kazakhstan is no exception," the official said.
It was noted that last month, the EU launched a comprehensive Central Asia COVID-19 Crisis Response (CACCR) solidarity package worth 3 million euros, addressing the needs of Central Asian countries with a primary focus on Kazakhstan.
"It is a part of the 124 million euros solidarity package, mobilized by the European Union for the Central Asia region in the context of the Team Europe global response to COVID-19. Implemented by the World Health Organization, the two years-long CACCR program will provide support to mitigate the current outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic," the representative said.
The official added that it will also contribute towards longer-term resilience of the national health systems of the Central Asian countries by increasing their capacities to respond to similar public health threats, should they occur in the future.
"For example, the CACCR will provide 400,000 sets of Personal Protective Equipment and 1,000 diagnostic test kits for COVID-19. It will contribute to carrying out a total of 2 million Polymerise Chain Reaction (PCR) tests in Kazakhstan. Ten Kazakh hospitals will be assessed against minimum Infection Prevention and Control Requirements (IPCR). The trainings will be provided to 5,000 health workers on Infection Prevention and Control Requirements (IPCR) and to 400 laboratory staff on the use of PCR tests and biosafety," the official said.
The representative added that CACCR will also help to update 80 percent of hospital plans with reference to IPCR assessments and provide expert advice for the revision and update of national emergency preparedness and response plans as well as national action plans for health security.
"The CACCR program already started delivering. On August 6, 2020, thanks to the CACCR program, the first humanitarian cargo with 200 oxygen concentrators arrived in Kazakhstan. This equipment will be distributed to different hospitals in all regions in the country," the official said.
Follow the author on twitter: @nargiz_sadikh