World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative’s Office in Uzbekistan
Dr. Asmus Hammerich, WHO Representative and Head of Country Office
The World Health Organization, founded in 1948, is the specialized agency of the United Nations for health. The WHO Country Representative’s Office in Uzbekistan belongs to one of the six regional offices around which WHO is globally structured, namely, the Regional Office for Europe (WHO EURO).
Uzbekistan officially joined the WHO on 25th May 1992. From 1993 the collaboration between WHO EURO and Uzbekistan took off and in 1995 a WHO Liaison Office was opened in the Uzbek Ministry of Health in Tashkent. In 2001 the Liaison Office was upgraded to a full WHO Country Representative’s Office including a permanent international staff member as WR and head of office.
Since 1993 WHO has been an active player in the country, towards the achievement of a common development and health goal, such as “Health for all 2000” and the Millennium Development Goals 2015.
Despite the numerous challenges with regards to the strengthening of the national health system's performance in effectively addressing health priorities, Uzbekistan has undergone important positive developments over the past two decades. WHO plays a crucial role towards a strengthened capacity of the Uzbek Ministry of Health in improving the national system's overall performance and in developing evidence based policies and strategies, while improving the quality of services and peoples’ access to those at the various levels through the provision of technical assistance.
Main areas of work
WHO's scope of work in Uzbekistan includes a number of strategic areas of collaboration regularly identified jointly with the Ministry of Health and articulated in a Biennium Collaborative Agreement (BCA). For the current biennium (2012-2013), WHO CO is focusing on:
PRIORITY 1: Non-Communicable Diseases, Health Promotion and Healthy Lifestyles
Reducing morbidity, disability and premature mortality owing to chronic non-communicable
diseases, mental disorders, as well as the promotion of healthy lifestyles addressing health
related MDGs and inequalities:
- Increasing evidence based programming to reduce inequalities from violence and injuries;
- Adopting a priority list of evidence-based actions for prevention and control of NCDs; building tobacco surveillance system;
- Establishing multi-sectoral policies and strategies to increase the level of implementation of the WHO FCTC by using the MPOWER framework.
PRIORITY 2: Communicable Diseases, Health Security and Environment
- Reducing the burden of communicable diseases, including their social and economic consequences, strengthening immunization systems and implementing policies to sustain polio-free status and achieve elimination of measles and rubella;
- Developing a national coordination mechanism and national action plan on antibiotic resistance; implementing IHR;
- Achieving malaria elimination;
- Incorporating HIV, STIs, viral hepatitis;
- Adopting policies and strategies for prevention and control of MXDR-TB and HIV/AIDS; and enhancing prevention of health effects of climate change.
PRIORITY 3: Health Systems strengthening and Public Health
- Improving performance of public health services and operations by developing, implementing, evaluating evidence-informed public health policies and implementing health financing policies to make progress towards achievement of universal health coverage.
PRIORITY 4: Health Information, Evidence, Research and Innovation
- Assessing national health info systems within the framework of a common European health information system.
- Establishing increased quality of and capacity for health situations analysis, including collection, use of standards, analysis and dissemination of health information.
PRIORITY 5: European Health Policy – Health 2020
- Developing greater capacity and commitment to apply a human rights-based approach in the development and implementation of health policies, plans and programmes, including a specific focus on populations experiencing poverty and social exclusion.
Each Technical Programme works with the Ministry of Health's specific departments, through national counterparts, so to ensure the highest possible degree of 'national ownership'. Close collaboration also exists with the Uzbek Cabinet of Ministers, Ombudsperson, Ministries of Social Welfare, Education, Internal Affairs and Foreign Affairs, Uzhydromet, Environmental Committee of Uzbekistan and other institutions.
Important international partners include UNDP/RCO, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNODC, UNESCO, World Bank, ADB, EU, USAID, USCDC, GIZ, KFW, CIM, JICA, KOICA, ICRC, KNCV, MSF, GAVI, GFATM and consulting companies.
List of links to publications and reports produced by WHO CO in Uzbekistan, available on line in the WHO CO webpage (http://www.euro.who.int/Uzbekistan/publications/20080123_1)
1. Primary care quality management in Uzbekistan (2008) http://www.euro.who.int/Document/E91927.pdf
2. Making Pregnancy Safer in Uzbekistan. Maternal mortality and morbidity audit (Activities Report 2002-2008) http://www.euro.who.int/document/MPS/mps_uzb.pdf
3. Towards the European strategy for Making Pregnancy Safer: improving maternal and perinatal health (2007) http://www.euro.who.int/document/MPS/uzb_mpseuro_countryprofiles.pdf
4. WHO-AIMS report on mental health system in Uzbekistan (2007) http://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/uzbekistan_who_aims_report.pdf
5. National workshop "Beyond the Numbers", reviewing maternal deaths and complications (2005) http://www.euro.who.int/document/MPS/050403_btn_uzb_new.pdf