Ways to move forward – improving reproductive health in Azerbaijan

WHO

Panelists during the 2-day meeting in Baku: (from left) Dr Ruta Nadisauskiene, Dr Gunta Lazdane, Dr Faiza Aliyeva, Dr Kamran Garakhanov

There are less than 5 years to go before the entire world will evaluate the implementation of the goals of the Millennium Development Declaration and activities in the countries are speeding up to meet the goals of the Declaration.

Azerbaijan is one of the countries of the WHO European Region that has developed a clear policy on improving maternal health and achieving universal access to reproductive health.

WHO/Europe’s role is to assist the capacity-building of national counterparts in governance and in developing the monitoring system on implementation of the national strategies and policies in improving maternal and child health.

During a two-day meeting in Baku, national and international stakeholders discussed triggers and barriers in the implementation of the National Reproductive Health Strategy (2008-2015).

A group of national focal points lead by Dr F. Aliyeva, Head of the National Reproductive Health Center, had prepared a summary of the progress made but many questions were discussed focusing rather on “how” than on “what”.

Six priority areas have been defined in the National Reproductive Health Strategy of Azerbaijan, however, the progress so far has been made mainly in the area of maternal and neonatal health.  Several development partners have assisted national experts in developing perinatal health centers, capacity building of the staff, developing of evidence-based protocols and many other activities, but much more should be done.

Participants of the meeting developed an action plan including next steps to move forward. To ensure implementation of the plan, intersectorial coordinated approach, improvement of public health and accelerating of primary health care reform is of crucial importance. The Ministry of Health of Azerbaijan has expressed understanding and full support in this area which is so crucial for the present and future generations.