WHO focuses on strengthening public health services in Tajikistan

WHO/Tahmina Alimamedova

On 23 May 2012, the Ministry of Health, the State Sanitary Epidemiological Surveillance Service and the WHO Country Office organized a roundtable discussion devoted to public health services reforms in Tajikistan.

Participants at the meeting included various regional and national public health officials from the Ministry of Health and State Sanitary Epidemiological Surveillance Service as well as international organizations, including Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), USAID/Quality Health Care Project and Aga Khan Foundation. Three international experts were invited by WHO to provide technical input and share lessons learnt from countries with similarities in context and experience with public health reforms. The group included Dr Ion Banharel, Dr Constantin Banheanu (Republic of Moldova) and Ms Cnezhana Cicivalieva (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).

The roundtable focused on major steps to be taken to facilitate understanding and integration of the European public health action plan and the European health strategy Health 2020 into the country's policies and related strategic discussions. Topics included essential public health operations in Tajikistan, International Health Regulations and the strengthening of laboratory services.

Concept plan

A working group of the Ministry of Health presented a draft Concept on Development of Public Health Services in Tajikistan for joint discussion at the roundtable meeting. The working group members benefited from a number of comments and questions raised, which will help them conclude work on the Concept and ensure links with Health 2020 and the European public health action plan.

Presentations also focused on experiences and lessons learnt related to public health sector and public health legislation reforms in south-eastern European countries, such as the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Moldova. In addition, a practical exercise was conducted on legislative actions needed in relation to Essential Public Health Operations (EPHOs).

Long-term process

The roundtable meeting was an important turning point and an essential step in discussions between the Ministry of Health, WHO, international organizations and other national state structures working in the field of public health strengthening across the country.

This event is part of a longer process of development and finalization of the public health strategy in Tajikistan, which has been supported by WHO through specific actions put in place in 2011.