The Crown Princess of Denmark will visit the Republic of Moldova to highlight regional progress in immunization, maternal and child health, and in tackling antimicrobial resistance
As patron of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Denmark will visit the Republic of Moldova with Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, on 23–25 November 2016. The visit will focus on the importance of women’s and children’s health, maintaining momentum on immunization and addressing antimicrobial resistance (AMR). They will see first-hand how health reforms in the Republic of Moldova have improved the health of women and children, and will review the remaining challenges to be addressed.
Highlights of the visit
The 3-day visit will include meetings with the Minister of Health of the Republic of Moldova, prominent members of the medical community, representatives of United Nations agencies and development partners. The visit will provide opportunities for discussions with health professionals working in the areas of immunization, women’s health and AMR, and for The Crown Princess to address postgraduate medical students at the School of Management in Public Health in Chisinau.
The Crown Princess and the Regional Director will also make site visits to a vaccine cold-chain storage facility at the National Centre for Public Health, and a primary care centre providing immunization services. The visit will mark this year’s World Antibiotic Awareness Week.
Work as patron
Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess of Denmark has been patron of the WHO Regional Office for Europe since 2005. As patron, The Crown Princess has been active in raising awareness of public health issues through, for example, keynote addresses at major WHO events, visits to countries in the WHO European Region, public statements and articles.
She advocates for maternal and child health, immunization and initiatives addressing AMR.
The Republic of Moldova is undergoing comprehensive health sector reforms, with technical assistance from WHO and other development partners. The results of these reforms are already showing in several key health areas, including immunization and maternal and child health. Life expectancy at birth has been increasing in the Republic of Moldova since 1994; it is now 72 years (2013), compared to an average of 77.5 across the Region.
In June 2016, WHO validated the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of syphilis in the Republic of Moldova. Screening and treatment during pregnancy are essential to prevent mother-to-child transmission of syphilis, which can cause miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death in up to 80% of cases. Over 60% of European countries offer syphilis testing to pregnant women, and all countries in the Region offer free treatment to syphilis-infected pregnant women.
The Republic of Moldova has interrupted transmission of both endemic measles and rubella. Immunization coverage is high, but efforts are needed to maintain measles and rubella vaccine coverage. The country is also planning to introduce the human papilloma virus vaccine as part of its comprehensive action to address the high burden of cervical cancer. This work is being carried out in collaboration with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), and with technical support from WHO.
Addressing AMR and promoting the prudent use of antibiotics is an important topic on the national health policy agenda. A national intersectoral working group has been formed to facilitate the development and implementation of a national action plan on antimicrobial resistance, which is due to be adopted by spring 2017. With the support of WHO, the Republic of Moldova is working hard to improve its AMR surveillance and provide data to the Central Asian and Eastern European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance network.