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WHO concludes pre-certifications mission to Azerbaijan on elimination of malaria

Baku, May 20, AZERTAC

The mission comprised of technical experts from World Health Organization (WHO) Headquarters has concluded its five-day visit to Azerbaijan.

In September 2021 the Ministry of Health of Azerbaijan has formally applied to WHO Director-General requesting to initiate the process for certification of malaria elimination in Azerbaijan. In framework of this process WHO pre-certification mission consisting of Head of the Elimination Unit of the Global Malaria Programme in WHO HQ Elkhan Gasimov and Technical Officer Hong Xiao Li visited Azerbaijan on 16-20 May 2022.

The objectives of the mission were to review documentation, prepared for certification of malaria elimination in Azerbaijan and provide technical advice on improving revealed shortages, if any, assess the programme for prevention of the re-establishment of indigenous malaria transmission, including field visits to formerly malaria-endemic areas, and discuss and reach a consensus with the Ministry of Health on the timeline for the certification process in Azerbaijan.

During the visit, mission members conducted a series of meetings with the health care authorities at central regional levels. The mission met with the representatives of the Ministry of Health, the Administration of the Medical Regional Divisions (TABIB), Azerbaijan State Advanced Training institute for Doctors, the epidemiological surveillance units of the Azerbaijan Railways Company and Azerbaijan Airlines and conducted site visits to Gakh, Sheki and Sabirabad districts.

Certification of malaria elimination is the official recognition by WHO of a country’s malaria-free status. WHO grants this certification when a country has proven, beyond reasonable doubt, that the chain of local transmission of all human malaria parasites has been interrupted nationwide for at least the past 3 consecutive years, and that a fully functional surveillance and response system that can prevent re-establishment of indigenous transmission is in place.

Certification on elimination of malaria of Azerbaijan is planned for 2022.

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