Turkmenistan launches its first national strategic plan for viral hepatitis response

Turkmenistan has launched its first-ever national strategic plan on viral hepatitis at a meeting of experts on 20 December 2018 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. During the meeting, representatives of the Minister of Health and Medical Industry, WHO technical experts, epidemiologists, laboratory specialists and infectious disease specialists from national and regional levels discussed the goals, indicators and activities proposed by the strategic plan.

The strategic plan provides a roadmap for a coordinated and comprehensive national response to viral hepatitis and is fully aligned with the WHO global and regional policy and strategic documents – the Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis, 2016–2021 and the Action plan for the health sector response to viral hepatitis in the WHO European Region. The indicators and targets set in the strategic plan reflect Turkmenistan’s commitment to achieving the global goal of eliminating viral hepatitis. The plan is developed in accordance with the European policy for health and well-being: Health 2020 and the State Programme “Health”, and for the purpose of achieving the targets of SDG 3.

Global goal: elimination of hepatitis by 2030

The first-ever Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis, adopted in May 2016 by the World Health Assembly, calls for the elimination of viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. The European Action plan for the health sector response to viral hepatitis, adopted in the same year, identifies priority actions to achieve this goal in the WHO European Region. In line with these frameworks, many countries are moving to prevent and treat hepatitis infections by developing national strategies or action plans and strengthening their response.

WHO supports Turkmenistan in viral hepatitis response

WHO provides technical assistance to Turkmenistan through the biennial collaborative agreement for 2018–2019 with the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry in improving viral hepatitis surveillance, laboratory diagnostic capacity, updating national viral hepatitis testing and treatment guidelines, and improving access to diagnostics and treatment.