Meeting of the Council for Health Cooperation of the CIS in Kyrgyzstan

The 27th meeting of the Council for Health Cooperation of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) took place in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on 28 April 2017. There, representatives of ministries of health of CIS countries and invited international agencies such as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and WHO convened to discuss the priorities of CIS countries in public health, as well as the role of the CIS Executive Committee in the implementation of regulatory documents.

The meeting, chaired by Professor Batyraliev, Minister of Health of Kyrgyzstan, featured an extensive agenda largely relevant to WHO policies and cooperation with Member States. The Council in particular endorsed a call to CIS health authorities to strengthen cooperation with relevant specialized agencies of the United Nations in line with the United Nations General Assembly’s 2016 resolution on cooperation with the CIS.

Council members discussed the action plan for implementing the strategy “Health of the population of the Member States of the CIS”. They also considered the initiation of a special body for preparing proposals aimed at further integrating efforts to protect the health of citizens of CIS Member States, and for promoting joint programmes in the field of health within the WHO framework.

Members discussed several other issues, such as information-sharing among CIS Member States on emergencies related to the sanitary and epidemiological welfare of the population; cooperation to prevent and manage public health events in civil aviation; and strengthening cooperation to address HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, tobacco use and dental care.

The Council also decided to establish an inventory of CIS regulatory acts on health, and agreed on further steps in developing a CIS strategy on promoting public health.

The WHO delegation, led by Dr Haik Nikogosian, Special Representative of the WHO Regional Director for Europe, participated in the discussion of measures for further expanding cooperation in the field of public health.

Dr João Breda, Head of the WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases in Moscow, Russian Federation, presented on WHO’s innovations in the fight against noncommunicable diseases in Europe.

Dr Juan Tello, Head of the WHO European Centre for Primary Health Care in Almaty, Kazakhstan, presented on strengthening primary care services as the key to universal health coverage.

Professor Veronika Skvortsova, the Minister of Health of the Russian Federation, was elected the next Chair of the Council for the duration of 1 year. The next meeting of the Council will take place in the Russian Federation in 2018.