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WHO Regional Director for Europe underlines importance of Azerbaijan’s health financing reforms during his official visit to country

Baku, April 26, AZERTAC

Building on the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic, strengthening access to quality health care reforms, and spotlighting life-saving vaccination as the Region marks European Immunization Week, are some of the issues on the agenda during World Health Organization Regional Director for Europe Hans Henri Kluge’s 2-day visit to Azerbaijan on 26-27 April 2022.

“The pandemic has underlined the importance of ensuring everyone has access to quality health services, and I am very pleased to see the concrete steps that Azerbaijan is taking in this direction through its health financing reform, with the strong backing of President Aliyev,” said Hans Henri P. Kluge.

“Being in Azerbaijan during European Immunization Week 2022, I am looking forward to talking to medical students - your immunization leaders of the future - and learning from them how to overcome barriers to vaccination so that all can enjoy this life-saving protection. Working together to find local solutions to local challenges is at the heart of the European Programme of Work, 2020-2025 ‘United Action for Better Health’ that all countries in the Region have signed up to,” he added.

Today, on the first day of the visit, the WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Henri Kluge met with President Ilham Aliyev.

A series of meetings with national health authorities, focusing on the European Immunization Agenda 2030, was held at the Ministry of Health of Azerbaijan. Kluge met with Minister of Health Teymur Musayev, Chairman of the Executive Board of the State Agency on Mandatory Health Insurance (SAMHI) Zaur Aliyev, Acting Chairman of the Executive Board of the Regional Medical Divisions (TABIB) Vugar Gurbanov, Rector of the Azerbaijan Medical University (AMU) Dr Garay Garaybayli and other high-level officials.

“WHO work and collaboration in Azerbaijan: reflections for the future” was the theme of a roundtable meeting with WHO, other UN entities and development partners, arranged at the Heydar Aliyev Center, and hosted by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. A photo exhibition on this theme was organized to showcase 28 years of WHO activities in Azerbaijan.

On the second day of the country visit, WHO Regional Director for Europe will visit the Shamakhi district, which has been the site of a Primary Health Care Demonstration Project by WHO Azerbaijan for the past two years, undertaken in collaboration with SAMHI, TABIB and the Ministry of Health. Kluge will observe European Immunization Week field activities in Goylar village, meet medical students and community leaders, and visit the WHO Shamakhi Training Center.

Moreover, Dr Kluge will also stop in at the WHO Collaborating Centre on Prevention and Control of Tuberculosis in Prisons during the second half of the day before finalizing his mission in Azerbaijan.

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