Azerbaijan to host WHO European governing body meeting

Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, is in Baku for an official visit to Azerbaijan. During the visit, Ms Jakab and the Minister of Health of Azerbaijan, Prof Shiraliyev, will sign a cooperation agreement to reinforce commitments and facilitate preparations for the annual session of WHO’s Regional Committee for Europe, which will take place in Baku on 12–15 September 2011.

The Regional Committee will bring to Azerbaijan over 300 high-level public health decision-makers from 53 Member States of the WHO European Region. They will discuss common plans for strengthening the Region’s capacity to face challenges to public health, including developing a new health policy at a pan-European level. “I am delighted that the Regional Committee will be held for the first time here in Baku, said, Ms Jakab, “We all hope this meeting will share a vision for the future of the health sector in the European Region”.

At the meeting in September, the Regional Committee will discuss many topics of current concern in public health, including chronic diseases, social determinants of health, alcohol consumption, antimicrobial resistance, mental health, and HIV/AIDS.

During her current visit to Baku, Mrs Jakab is to meet the Azeri Prime-minister with whom she will discuss bilateral cooperation and the sustainability of health system reforms in the country.

WHO in Azerbaijan 

WHO officially established its country office in Azerbaijan in 2004. It supports the country in many key public health areas, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, influenza, vaccine preventable diseases and immunization, mental health, disaster preparedness, as well as implementation of national health systems reforms.

The detailed cooperation priorities between WHO/Europe and the Government of Azerbaijan are set out in the biannual collaboration agreements, which are carried out in close cooperation with national and international partner agencies. The 2010 agreement identifies the following cooperation priorities:

  • supporting health system reforms and ensuring adequate stewardship capacity for policy analysis and implementation;
  • scaling up progress towards the Millennium Development Goals;
  • strengthening communicable disease surveillance and emergency preparedness; and
  • scaling up prevention and control strategies for chronic diseases and environmental health.