WHO/Europe assists the Ministry of Health in strengthening disaster preparedness and response capacities and coordination mechanisms. It has supported the Ministry in the thorough assessment of the strengths, weaknesses of the present national disaster preparedness and response planning framework. WHO facilitates the process of filling the gaps in the framework and strengthening the country’s crisis preparedness and response capacities. WHO is an active member of the multisectoral United Nations Disaster Management Team (UNDMT) in Armenia.

WHO/Europe carried out the following activities.

Health facility strengthening

Strengthening the resilience and safety of the country’s health facilities to ensure that they continue to function in the event of a disaster included assessing the resilience of selected key health facilities using the WHO Hospital Safety Index. Based on this analysis, a work plan was developed, containing interventions to improve the safety of the facilities, and a workshop on hospital safety was conducted.

National public health and emergency management (PHEM) course

A national PHEM course was developed and implemented. It was based on the regional WHO/Europe PHEM course, while incorporating the country’s specific needs and concerns.

Participation of representatives of Ministry of Health and Ministry of Emergencies in the sub-regional course  Public Health & Emergency Management, held in Russian language on 16 -21 September, 2013, Issyk Kul Area, Kyrgyzstan.

Assessment of health-system crisis preparedness

In 2007 a WHO/Europe expert team assessed the health security and crisis management capacity of Armenia, using the health system – based version of the assessment tool. This toolkit was further developed and updated through a DG – SANCO grant in 2012. Based on the updated toolkit a new, more comprehensive assessment was carried out in Armenia in Oct 2013. The purpose of this new assessment was to mark improvements over the last six years in Armenia’s health system preparedness capacities and to propose to the Ministry of Health of Armenia recommendations and areas of increased collaboration. The report of the 2013 assessment will be published in early 2014.