UN Priorities for 2017: World Health Organization
Dr Lianne Kuppens, WHO Representative for Uzbekistan
The main responsibility of the World Health Organization (WHO) is , in support of the Government of Uzbekistan, the development and implementation of a comprehensive national health policy, strategy and action plan that ensures and promotes the resilience of health systems and is in line with the International Health Partnership through engagement with stakeholders in other sectors, civil society and development agencies, as well as in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, the Health 2020, as part of the effort to promote equitable progress towards universal health coverage and improve the health and well-being of every individual.
In 2017, WHO will work with the Government of Uzbekistan to implement the National Strategic Action Plan 2017-2021, supporting national reform based on the identified key priority areas.
Communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and others
Socioeconomic, environmental and behavioral factors, as well as international travel and migration, foster and increase the spread of communicable diseases. Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS are among the main health priorities in Uzbekistan and pose like other communicable, vaccine-preventable and foodborne related diseases, significant threats to human health and may sometimes threaten international health security. In cooperation with Governments, WHO/Europe develops norms and standards, guidance and public health tools to help countries implement effective disease prevention and control programmes and address their risk factors. WHO provides technical assistance in scaling up of rapid TB diagnostic tools and implementation of short treatment regimens and new drugs effective against tuberculosis.
Non-communicable diseases and risk factors, mental health
To reduce the impact of NCDs on individuals and society, WHO advocates and promotes a comprehensive approach that requires multisectoral collaboration and actions. Reduction of NCDs is based on lessening major risk factors through implementation of low-cost solutions mainly focused on tobacco use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, and the harmful use of alcohol. Creating healthy public policies that promote NCD prevention and control and reorienting health systems to address the needs of people with such diseases are crucial interventions at country level. WHO also provides recommendations and support for the implementation of high impact essential NCD interventions delivered through a primary health care approach to strengthen early detection and timely treatment.
Mental health is an integral and essential component of health. WHO/Europe provides norms and standards with focus on development of integrated mental health services across the continuum of prevention, promotion, treatment and recovery with strengthened PHC role.
Promoting health through the life course approach is a key area in enabling countries to further expand access and quality of effective interventions for improving women, newborn, child and adolescent health, strengthen reproductive and sexual health services and achieve gender equality. Based on global guidelines and tools, WHO provides technical expertise in adoption and developing national strategies and plans to better address major obstacles and health systems bottlenecks in order to improve access and quality of care, to prevent avoidable maternal, newborn and child health concerns, to ensure early childhood development and promote adolescent health strategies and actions, and the provision of high quality, age-appropriate health services.
Reduction of environmental threats on health is another important area. WHO provides technical expertise in developing national and global response in relation to environmental health.
Strengthening health systems through the development of national health policies and strategies and plans, implementing integrated people-centred health services and ensuring equal access and sustainable universal coverage of health care. WHO supports the adoption of the Framework for Actions towards patient-centered coordinated integrated service delivery , supports countries in developing a system of health accounts with the aim to gain better evidence and informed decision making in health and health financing, to support health workforce strategic planning and governance, to enhance health information systems and the development of comprehensive public health strategies and plans based on Health-2020 policy.
Strengthening alert and response capacities required by the International Health Regulations (2005) for all-hazard alert, response and pandemic preparedness
The International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) provides an international legal framework to ensure global public health security. Binding on 196 countries, including all WHO Member States, the IHR require countries to implement and maintain the capacities necessary for detecting and responding to public health threats and to report on events which may constitute a potential public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).
WHO is working with the Ministry of Health of Uzbekistan to increase capacity of the country to build resilience and adequate preparedness to mount a rapid, predictable and effective response to major epidemics and pandemics and to strengthen the capacity of the country to respond to different emergencies and risks.
To help countries implementing the IHR, WHO launched the Better Labs – Better Health initiative in 2014 which is also being implemented in Uzbekistan. The goal of this initiative is to improve health by providing timely and accurate laboratory results from quality assured laboratories that are trusted by the user.
In 2017, WHO will continue working with the National Laboratory Working Group on laboratory policy, strategic and operational plans development.
The "Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework for the sharing of influenza viruses and access to vaccines and other benefits" (PIP Framework) brings together Member States, industry, other stakeholders and WHO to implement a global approach to pandemic influenza preparedness and response. It aims to improve the sharing of influenza viruses with human pandemic potential; achieve more equitable access for Member States in need of pandemic vaccines and medicines used in pandemics.
WHO is working with the Government on influenza surveillance and laboratory capacity strengthening, development of guidance on treatment of patients in critical conditions due to influenza and helping the country to respond to outbreaks and epidemics, developing national protocols for rapid response teams.
Response to global public health threats, including control of antimicrobial resistance
Antimicrobial resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and development today and requires action across all government sectors and society. To address and tackle this the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) was adopted in 2015 by all countries through decisions in the World Health Assembly (WHA), the FAO Governing Conference and the World Assembly of OIE. It was further endorsed by heads of states in the United Nations General Assembly meeting in September 2016.
The goal of the Global Action Plan is to ensure, for as long as possible, continuity of successful treatment and prevention of infectious diseases with effective and safe medicines that are quality-assured, used in a responsible way and accessible to all who need them.
WHO is providing technical assistance to help countries develop their national action plans, and strengthen their health and surveillance systems so to enable them to prevent and manage antimicrobial resistance. It is collaborating with partners to strengthen the evidence base and develop new responses to this global threat.