Turkmenistan Interagency Coordination Committee addresses issues of sustaining malaria-free status and leishmaniasis control
Since 19 October 2010, when Turkmenistan was declared malaria free, the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan have focused on preventing re-establishment of transmission and preventing imported malaria.
On 11 April 2011 a meeting of the Interagency Coordination Committee of the National Programme on Malaria control was held. Meeting participants reviewed a report on the introduction of a national action plan to prevent re-introductoin of malaria transmission in turkmenistan for the period 2010-2015. The report included the following statements:
- Sentinel epidemiological surveillance is carried out to prevent the re-introduction of malaria transmission in the country.
- Malaria interventions in the country are conducted with full consideration given to the malariogenic level of the area, neighbouring malaria-affected countries, migration processes due to the development of international relations, and economic development of the country (development of new mineral deposits and irrigated lands, construction of hydroengineering projects and the development of tourist areas.
- Twice per year (before and in the middle of the epidemiological season), the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan conducts, together with local authorities, monthly malaria prevention campaigns in accordance with the specially developed and approved plans.
Recognizing the high burden of the disease, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution (WHA60.13) on leishmaniasis control in 2007, urging Member States in which leishmaniasis is a substantial public health problem to undertake actions to deal with the major factors underlying the failure to control the disease. Responding to this WHO appeal, the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan undertook a series of actions including:
- development of this national plan;
- raising awareness of the burden of leishmaniasis;
- scaling up prevention and disease management; and
- strengthening of collaborative efforts among multisectoral stakeholders, interested organizations and other bodies in order to support the development and implementation of a national leishmaniasis control programme.
The Interagency Coordination Committee was established by the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan in 2005 to regulate intersectoral collaboration, taking into account the broad nature of the malaria problem and the necessity for actions from various institutions and agencies. It is comprised of members from the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan, independent public associations/non-governmental organizations of Turkmenistan and international organizations. The Cabinet of Ministers Decree regulates distinct distribution of functions between the government bodies, international and non-governmental organizations. It specifies the functions of the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, other ministries, municipal bodies (khyakimliks) of Ashgabat city and velayats, other agencies and major concerns. Plans of actions of the Interagency Coordination Committee cover all aspects of intersectoral collaboration.