Azerbaijan shares experience of preventing deaths during pandemic

Azerbaijan shares experience of preventing deaths during pandemic

WHO Azerbaijan organized the first PROACT-Care project coordination meeting with partners and stakeholders, WHO Azerbaijan informs on its official web-site.

"Every crisis can create an opportunity for change. The ongoing pandemic helped us to see what the most acute shortcomings are in the health systems. We want to see the pandemic as an opportunity for transformation of the primary healthcare in Azerbaijan", Dr. Hande Harmanci, WHO Representative in Azerbaijan stated at the PROACT-Care coordination meeting where the longer-term vision for the primary health care model for the country was discussed.

WHO study shows that improved diagnosis, treatment, and control of hypertension in primary healthcare alone has the potential to save up to 24 000 lives and 600 million AZN per year in Azerbaijan. According to Dr. Harmanci, therefore, "development of primary healthcare can help to reduce mortality, lower health care costs, minimize economic losses and enhance labor productivity."

The PROACT-Care will be officially launched in the Shamakhi district next month. Dr. Ramin Bayramli noted in the meeting "launching such a project during major efforts to tackle the pandemic is important for us” and expressed hope that PROACT-Care will have a significant contribution to shaping the expected primary healthcare reforms in Azerbaijan. WHO expert Dr. Ibrahim Durak informed the meeting participants about the needs assessment missions conducted in Shamakhi district in August and December 2020 and noted that "only 1 in 9 persons (11%) with hypertension in Shamakhi district is diagnosed and only 1 in 11 persons (9%) treated for hypertension is well controlled."

WHO expert Dr. Anne Johansen highlighted that 4% of the country's GDP is lost annually to non-communicable diseases. "An excellent primary healthcare can prevent 25% of the avoidable deaths in Azerbaijan" she noted.

It was also mentioned that, as part of the project, over 100 healthcare workers will be trained on COVID-19 response, cardiometabolic risks, and mother and child health in the Shamakhi district in 8 February - 15 March 2021.   

Delivering his reflections on the PRACT-Care project, Dr. Teymur Musayev pointed out that the PROACT-Care project can be very helpful to develop system and build human resources capacities to more efficiently use the existing healthcare resources in the Shamakhi district.

Mr. Soltan Mammadov added that strengthening primary healthcare is among the key requirements of the introduction of mandatory health insurance in Azerbaijan and suggested to start similar needs assessment missions in the other regions of the country. 

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To date, 229,358 cases of coronavirus infection were detected in Azerbaijan. 221,116 people recovered, 3,100 - died, the number of active patients is 5,142. Azerbaijan has already purchased the CoronoVAC vaccine produced by the Chinese company Sinovac, becoming one of the first countries to start vaccination of the population.

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