Development Dialogue Addresses Health Emergency Preparedness in Kyrgyzstan
Over 60 high-level government representatives, parliamentarians, development partners, researchers, technical experts on health, and civil society representatives came together to share insights on strengthening health emergency preparedness and readiness to advance health security in the Kyrgyz Republic during a development dialogue on April 9th 2019. The Development Dialogue was co-organised by the United Nations (UN) system in Kyrgyzstan, and the University of Central Asia’s (UCA) Institute of Public Policy and Administration (IPPA). This was the third in a series of six such development dialogues.
L to R: Dr Tasnim Atatrah, Health Emergency Officer and Central Asia Coordinator at the World Health Organisation; Dr. Nazira Artykova, Representative and Head of WHO Office in the Kyrgyz Republic; Madamin Karataev, Deputy Minister of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic; Ozonnia Ojielo, United Nations Resident Coordinator, and Prof. Dr. S. Sohail H. Naqvi, Rector of the University of Central Asia.
The event provided a forum to discuss collaboration on health emergency preparedness, reviewing ongoing joint initiatives, and discussing future priorities to enhance readiness to advance implementation of WHO’s International Health Regulations (IHR) in the country. The Dialogue highlighted the critical importance of flexible preparedness planning, strengthening engagement partners, information sharing, strengthening of intersectoral collaboration at the national level, and the critical role that governments and line ministries play to detect, assess, and report public health events.
“Health emergencies are often happening suddenly and unexpectedly. That is why we need to ensure that our health systems are capable of delivering timely, quality health services to those in need, in a comprehensive way and on an adequate scale,” said Karatayev Madamin, Deputy Minister of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic. “These systems are especially important during emergencies, when access to quality essential health services can be severely compromised”.
“The University of Central Asia is delighted to be partnering with the United Nations in providing a platform for supporting evidence-based policy making in areas of importance to Kyrgyzstan,” said Prof. Dr. S. Sohail H. Naqvi, Rector of UCA, at the opening session. “Such platforms also provide opportunities for researchers in the field to share their latest results, to enable stakeholders to formulate appropriate policies.”
“All disasters and emergencies have one thing in common. They disrupt communities and threaten people’s health and food security. The impact of emergencies can be greatly reduced by investing in preparedness. That is why we need to work together to strengthen the Country’s capacities to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from all types of health emergencies. Strengthening health emergency preparedness is the responsibility of all and is a path to attain sustainable development,” stated Ozonnia Ojielo, United Nations Resident Coordinator in the Kyrgyz Republic.
Participants at the Development Dialogue on health emergency preparedness in Kyrgyzstan.
During the Dialogue participants touched upon emergency preparedness and building the capacity of the health sector, mass casualty management, as well as how emergency preparedness can benefit the population and Government from various consequences.
Stakeholders agreed that to achieve sustainable health systems, the core capacities under the International Health Regulations would need to be further strengthened, with a focus on prevention, and on achieving results in close cooperation with the Government and line ministries.
The UN-UCA Development Dialogues series comprises six dialogues, organised over the course of one year, to initiate consultation among government, development partners, civil society, private sector and academia on critical sustainable development subjects. The goal of the Dialogues is to help break down traditional sector silos and enhance horizontal and vertical policy coherence, integration, and partnerships to inform policy formulation in Kyrgyzstan. Each dialogue is designed to include presentations on thematic issues by key stakeholders, and a Q&A session. The discussions will be translated into a thematic policy brief.