Strengthening family medicine based-primary health care for continued improvements in priority health outcomes in Tajikistan

Gains in population health outcomes show alignment with improvements in family medicine across Tajikistan, with the roll-out of the family medicine model contributing to greater coverage of services in priority health areas including the prevention and control of tuberculosis and antenatal care. In recent years, achievements to strengthen family medicine have included a number of new or improved practices, such as updating methods for developing evidence-based clinical guidelines, implementing business planning in primary care facilities and piloting performance-based financing as a mechanism for performance improvement.

At present, Tajikistan continues to prioritize health services delivery transformations, signaled by the development and approval of the new strategic plan for family medicine-based primary health care 2016–2020. The strategic plan, in alignment with the new WHO European Framework for Action on Integrated Health Services Delivery, puts focus on four priority areas: care, services delivery, health system enablers and policy.

To continue discussions on the new strategic plan for family medicine, on 27 September 2016, a high-level national conference on family medicine was held in Dushanbe, as a platform to exchange firsthand experiences and identify priorities for implementation. Over 200 participants attended the conference including members of parliament, representatives from the Ministry of Health, international experts, Development Partners, and family medicine providers from across the regions of Tajikistan. The event concluded with agreement on priority areas for implementation adopted in a conference resolution, calling for a focus on efforts like strengthening health literacy and improving the management of services.

A WHO technical team continued to work with national counterparts to support the implementation of the new strategic plan for family medicine mainly in the areas of governance of primary health care and streamlining quality improvement processes. This technical assistance will be led by the new WHO European Centre for Primary Health Care (WECPHC) in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The WECPHC aims to strengthening the development of people-centred health systems based on integrated primary care, across Member States of the European Region.