On July 15, 2020, a briefing was held in the premises of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Turkmenistan upon the results of the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe consultative-technical mission’s visit to Turkmenistan. As is known, Catherine Smallwood, Senior Emergency Officer at WHO/Europe is heading the given mission.
The heads and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, Ministry of Healthcare and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan, Ministry of Agriculture and Nature Protection of Turkmenistan, State Committee for Water Management of Turkmenistan, heads of foreign diplomatic missions and representations of the international organizations working in Turkmenistan, the representatives of the national mass media of Turkmenistan, as well as foreign journalists accredited in Turkmenistan participated to the briefing.
During his speech at the event, Minister of Healthcare and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan N.Amannepesov highly appraised the work done by the WHO/Europe mission in Turkmenistan and voiced the results of the latest session of the Governmental Commission on Combatting the Acute Infectious Diseases which took place on July 12 of the current year. The Minister voiced the practical actions implemented in regard to further strengthening of preventive measures aimed at the counteraction against the acute dangerous diseases in the country. This information was also visually presented through video.
Then the Head of WHO Country Office in Turkmenistan Paulina Karwowska gave a speech. She expressed gratitude to the Turkmen side for assistance in organizing the WHO mission’s visit and highlighted the efforts of the Government of Turkmenistan on consolidating the actions in combatting the global pandemic.
The head of the given mission, Catherine Smallwood shared the outcomes of the ten-day work done in Turkmenistan, during which the experts visited various medical institutions, points of entry, laboratories in the regions and in the capital of the country, met with the medical personnel, got acquainted with the activities in the area of epidemiological surveillance. She stated that Turkmenistan remains the only country in the European region of WHO, where no cases of diseases evolved from the COVID-19 were registered. Therefore, it is necessary to continue to strengthen the preventive measures adopted in Turkmenistan, she added. Thus, the WHO experts shared strategic recommendations on the elevation of the level of preparedness and response measures in case of COVID-19.
Then the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov made an address. He expressed gratitude to the expert mission of WHO for constructive work, recommendations and proposals which added to the practical measures adopted by Turkmenistan on the prevention of the spread of new type of coronavirus. The key and leading role of WHO in coordinating the actions of the international community in combatting the COVID-19 was underlined.
R.Meredov noted the necessity of taking into account all the scientific researches including the impact of environmental factors on the emergence and spread of various types of dangerous infections. In this regard, the Aral problems and approach to it of the Government of Turkmenistan were noted. Taking into account the geographic peculiarities of Turkmenistan, it was noted about the dust and salt storms which are able to transmit the hazardous substances from the dried ground of the Aral Sea along vast territories which pose threat to the health of the human being.
Hereby, the significance of ongoing scientific researches on studying the interrelation between the levels of air pollution and special types of morbidity was emphasized. Thus, the Minister noted the start of disinfection procedures by the means of aviation for preventing the spread of pathogenic microorganisms through air and airborne droplets.
Thereupon, R.Meredov once again called for cooperation in the field of scientific diplomacy, which can contribute to the search of information on the emergence of acute dangerous viruses, as well as develop the methods and means of curing the hazardous diseases and their prevention, including the development of vaccines. It was underlined that the adherence of Turkmenistan to these goals is reflected in the fact that the country has joined the C-TAP Platform and other WHO mechanisms.
In her speech, the UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan Elena Panova noted the high level of cooperation of Turkmenistan with all the UN structures. Emphasizing the importance of the Preparedness and Response Plan of Turkmenistan for Acute Infectious Diseases developed jointly with the UN, E.Panova stated the necessity of reducing the social and humanitarian impacts evolved from the pandemic.
In the end of the briefing, the parties expressed the need of continuing joint work for the sake of the whole humankind through solidarity and mutual support.
/// MFA Turkmenistan, 15 July 2020