WHO and Tajik Ministry of Health work together for effective management of NCDs

WHO/Tahmina Alimamedova

Press conference on strengthening primary health care and effective management of NCDs in Tajikstan Front row from left: Dr Pavel Ursu (Head of Country Office), Dr Shanthi Mendis (WHO expert) and Dr Rahmonov S.B (Deputy Minister of Health)

Strengthening primary health care and effectively managing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are primary objectives of ongoing collaboration between WHO and Tajikistan’s Ministry of Health. Integration of a WHO package of essential NCD interventions (PEN) into the health system at primary level is an important part of this effort. To this end, WHO headquarters and the WHO Country Office in Tajikistan in collaboration with the Ministry of Health conducted a two-day training workshop for health care professionals across Tajikistan on 3-4 December 2012.

The first of its kind in the country, the workshop brought together more then 40 health workers, including family doctors and general practitioners, as well as representatives from a medical university, postgraduate institute and centres for cardiovascular disease, endocrinology, oncology, chronic lung diseases and nutrition. 

WHO expert Dr Shanthi Mendis facilitated the workshop; and WHO/Europe experts Ms Tatyana Elmanova and Mr Eugene Zheleznyakov and WHO national facilitators also took part.

New approaches to NCD management

The workshop focused on evaluation of current management of NCDs in the country and on introduction of the WHO PEN protocols specifically for prevention of heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease through integrated management of diabetes and hypertension (Best Buy approach) and health education and counseling on healthy behaviours.

During the event, Dr Pavel Ursu, WHO Representative/Head of the WHO Country Office highlighted the expectation that this tool will help change existing approaches on NCD management at the primary level in the country.

Dr Mendis urged Tajikistan to unite in efforts to reduce the burden of NCDs. She mentioned that such diseases are a major threat to economic growth and development. In addition, Dr Mendis highlighted positive aspects of the health care system in Tajikistan, such as:

  • implementation of national programmes for the protection of public health;
  • implementation of a Basic Benefit Package (BBP); 
  • development of strategies for prevention and control of communicable diseases.

Press conference

On the second day of the workshop, the Ministry of Health and the WHO Country Office organized a special press conference chaired by the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Rahmonov S.B, Dr Ursu and Dr Mendis. 

Joint mission

Following the workshop, a mission was conducted on 5–7 December 2012 within the framework of the joint Russian Federation–WHO project on strengthening the response to noncommunicable diseases in central Asia and eastern Europe. The mission was facilitated by Ms Tatyana Elmanova, and Mr Eugene Zheleznyakov, who conducted a situation analysis on NCDs in the country, along with an assessment of existing problems and country experience in this field. They also reviewed the national NCD strategy and policy.