Kazakhstan to host new WHO office on primary health care


Kazakhstan’s Minister of Health Dr Salidat Kairbekova and WHO Regional Director for Europe Zsuzsanna Jakab sign the agreement for a new WHO office on primary health care

Kazakhstan today signed an agreement with WHO to host a new geographically dispersed office (GDO) of WHO on primary health care in Almaty. The agreement was signed by Kazakhstan’s Minister of Health, Dr Salidat Kairbekova, and WHO Regional Director for Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab, on the sidelines of the Sixty-seventh World Health Assembly taking place in Geneva, Switzerland.

The establishment of the GDO is aimed at strengthening work in the WHO European Region on health service delivery, in particular in the area of development of primary health care. It will function as an operational unit of the Division of Health Systems and Public Health at WHO/Europe and will contribute, together with the other technical programmes in the Division, to strive towards universal health coverage within the Health 2020 framework.

It will, at the same time, serve as a knowledge and learning hub attracting and disseminating good practice, best buys and actionable policy options to help countries prepare their front-line managers for renewed and innovative primary health care.

The general objectives of the new GDO are to:

  1. contribute to and support WHO/Europe’s efforts to turn health systems towards people-centred health service delivery based on primary health care, in order to respond appropriately, effectively and innovatively to the burden of noncommunicable and communicable diseases, ageing and co-morbidities;
  2. render active support to European Member States as they implement commitments undertaken at regional and global level, to an equitable, responsive, effective and efficient health service delivery based on primary health care; and
  3. provide high quality operational and innovative knowledge and evidence on people-centred health care services, the coordination, integration and continuity of care, the revised role of hospitals, the coordination, organization and management of health care providers, patient and disease management throughout the life-course, taking account of chronicity and including palliative care, and other relevant challenges to countries’ efforts to scale up universal health coverage.

The establishment of the new GDO in Almaty is the result of the decision EUR/RC62(2) adopted by the WHO Regional Committee for Europe at its 62nd session, which requested WHO/Europe to develop business models for potential new GDOs in the areas of primary health care and humanitarian crisis. Kazakhstan subsequently offered to host the GDO on primary health care, which was approved by the Regional Committee at its 63rd session.