WHO assists Tajik hospitals in preparing for emergencies

Sarah Bernhardt

Tajikistan is at high risk of natural disasters and extreme weather events, such as earthquakes, landslides and floods. To help strengthen the country’s capacity to respond to environment-related emergencies, WHO/Europe is supporting a hospital preparedness project from January to August 2012 in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Tajikistan and the local NGO “Centre for climate change and disaster risk reduction related to the environment”.  

Focusing on central hospitals in the six districts of Tajikistan most at risk, the project aims to reduce excess mortality and morbidity due to the adverse effects of extreme weather events and disasters. Participating hospitals are located in Khatlon (Shahrituz and Khovaling), Sughd (Mastchoh and Panjakent), and the Regions of Republican Subordination (RRS) (Rudaki, Rasht).

Climate change

Activities to strengthen emergency preparedness in Tajikistan are part of WHO/Europe’s joint projects in the fields of environment and health dedicated in part to reducing the negative impacts of climate change on health. According to the International Disaster Database (EM-DAT), over the past twenty years, the WHO European Region has experienced more than 1200 natural disasters, causing suffering for millions of people and more than 112 000 deaths. Evidence suggests that climate change contributes to the frequency of some types of such disasters.