Experts review tuberculosis services in 2 districts in Azerbaijan
A team of experts from WHO/Europe and the Centre for Health Policies and Studies (PAS) of the Republic of Moldova, together with national specialists and representatives of Azerbaijan’s State Agency on Mandatory Health Insurance, assessed tuberculosis (TB) services in 2 districts in the country – Mingachevir and Yevlach – that have been identified for the piloting of a mandatory health insurance system.
The purpose of the technical assessment, which took place on 28 February–3 March 2017, was to evaluate the impact of the application of mandatory health insurance in 2017. The technical team visited TB hospitals, dispensaries, feldsher points (first points of contact with health professionals in rural areas) and rayon (district) hospitals, and also met with Ministry of Health officials, other national stakeholders and international organizations.
TB is a key public health issue in Azerbaijan, and the Ministry of Health has made progress in implementing the National TB Control Programme. The assessment was prompted by a special request from the Ministry of Health to further support the strengthening of the country’s health systems related to TB services.
The findings from the assessment will inform the development of a roadmap to equip the Ministry of Health, the National TB Control Programme and other relevant national partners with a framework for implementing systems-strengthening interventions to improve TB prevention and care. The development of such roadmaps is a key component of the TB Regional Eastern European and Central Asian Project (TB-REP).
The working group tasked with the development of the roadmap held its first meeting in conjunction with the assessment to discuss responsibilities and a work plan.
Azerbaijan is one of 11 countries covered by TB-REP. As part of TB-REP, WHO/Europe will work closely with national stakeholders to follow up on recommendations and roadmap development, and to promote people-centred health systems in the context of universal health coverage for TB prevention and care.
Viktor Gasimov, Head of the Sanitary Epidemiological Surveillance Department at the Ministry of Health and Manager of the National TB Control Programme, emphasized the importance of health systems strengthening for TB prevention and care in the country.
At a meeting with the State Agency on Mandatory Health Insurance, Isa Aliyev, Head of the Monitoring, Analysis and Information Technology Department, remarked, “We are glad to collaborate with WHO to improve prevention, treatment and care of tuberculosis in the pilot regions, and look forward to discussing the new model of care for TB patients.”