Kyrgyzstan engages in annual review of national health-care reform programme

The Press Service of the Ministry of Health, Kyrgyzstan

From left to right: Ms Altynai Omurbekova, Vice-Prime Minister; Dr Kosmosbek Cholponbaev, Minister of Health; Dr Jarno Habicht, WHO Representative/Head of the WHO Country Office; and Ms Fadia Saadah, Director of Health, Nutrition and Population at the World Bank

National stakeholders and development partners came together to review and take forward Kyrgyzstan’s national health-care reform programme for 2012–2018 during a high-level policy dialogue on 14–17 May 2018.

“Our task today is to identify and deliver real achievable goals, to define available resources and responsibilities precisely,” said Dr Kosmosbek Cholponbaev, Minister of Health, during the event. “Bold actions are needed in all priority areas with the possibility of rapid changes and improvements that would help us to strengthen the health sector so that the whole population in Kyrgyzstan would benefit.”

The annual event, also known as a joint annual review, is a key tool to advance the implementation of the programme. It brings together national stakeholders with development partners, including WHO and other United Nations agencies, and joint financiers such as the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, KfW Development Bank and the World Bank to discuss present and future steps in the development of the health sector and to review challenges and opportunities.

Kyrgyzstan is one of the few countries in the WHO European Region to utilize these valuable high-level policy dialogues and technical discussions to support the development of the health sector.

National health-care reform programme: Den Sooluk 2012–2018

Now in its final year, Den Sooluk is the national health-care reform programme adopted in May 2012. It describes the strategy for developing the health sector in the country from 2012 to 2018. It is conducted under the leadership of the Ministry of Health with the support of WHO and other development partners.
The objective of the programme is to improve the health and well-being of the population. It focuses on 4 priority areas:

  • cardiovascular diseases;
  • maternal and child health;
  • tuberculosis; and
  • HIV infection.

WHO’s support to Den Sooluk

WHO actively supports the implementation of Den Sooluk and participated in the recent policy dialogue. “The 2018 joint annual review is important for Kyrgyzstan since it aims to reflect what we have learned from the past and to find a common path in the health sector so that national stakeholders and development partners can move in one clear direction together,” highlighted Dr Jarno Habicht, WHO Representative in Kyrgyzstan. “It is also a good opportunity to set short-term actions and quick wins to move forward in the health sector, but also to agree on the principles for a next-generation health strategy to move towards universal health coverage and advance the Sustainable Development Goals.”

In addition to the WHO team permanently located in the capital, Bishkek, additional technical experts contribute to the implementation of Den Sooluk in the following areas:

  • maternal and child health;
  • adolescent health;
  • sexual and reproductive health;
  • health system strengthening and tuberculosis control;
  • the laboratory network;
  • vaccine-preventable diseases;
  • health financing;
  • public health governance; and
  • public health services.

WHO facilitated the implementation of Den Sooluk and strengthened coordination with development partners working in the health sector. Additionally, WHO contributed to the revision of the national programme on public health protection and health system development for 2019–2030, entitled Healthy Person – Prosperous Country, and followed up with specific technical assistance in 2018.

The policy dialogue was supported by technical assistance and financial support from WHO in accordance with the biennial collaborative agreement for 2018–2019 between the Ministry of Health of Kyrgyzstan and WHO, and from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in the context of the “Strengthening monitoring and evaluation and policy dialogue for the Den Sooluk National Health Reform Programme for 2012–2018”, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation strategic grant to WHO, and the European Union–Luxembourg–WHO Universal Health Coverage Partnership.