A briefing on the results of the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe consultative-technical mission’s visit to Turkmenistan was held at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Turkmenistana on Wednesday, the Turkmen Foreign Ministry said in a press release.
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 in Turkmenistan, the representatives of the national mass media of Turkmenistan and journalists accredited in Turkmenistan attended the briefing.
During his speech at the event, Minister of Healthcare and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan Nurmuhammet Amannepesov highly appraised the work done by the WHO/Europe mission in Turkmenistan and announced 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 also informed about the practical actions implemented to strengthen preventive measures aimed at the countering the acute dangerous diseases in the country.
The head of the WHO/Europe mission Catherine Smallwood shared the outcomes of the ten-day mission in Turkmenistan, during which the experts visited various medical institutions, border checkpoints, 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 WHO Europe region, where no cases of COVID-19 disease were registered. Therefore, the WHO official noted the need to continue to strengthen the preventive measures adopted in Turkmenistan. Thus, the WHO experts shared strategic recommendations on the strengthening the level of preparedness and response measures against COVID-19.
Then the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov gave speech. The Minister expressed gratitude to the WHO expert mission for constructive work, recommendations and proposals in addition to the practical measures adopted by Turkmenistan on the prevention of the spread of novel coronavirus. The Foreign Minister underlined the key and leading role of WHO in coordinating the actions of the international community in combatting the COVID-19.
Turkmen Foreign Minister 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 Minister noted the Aral Sea crisis and Turkmen Government’s action in this direction. Taking into account the geographic peculiarities of Turkmenistan, the official informed about the dust and salt storms that are able to transmit the hazardous substances, which pose threat to the health of the human being, from the dried ground of the Aral Sea along vast territories. Hereby, the Turkmen Minister emphasized the significance of ongoing scientific researches on studying the interrelation between the levels of air pollution and special types of morbidity. The Minister also noted the start of disinfection procedures by aviation for preventing the spread of pathogenic microorganisms through air and airborne droplets.
In this regard, Rashid 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 and develop the methods and means of curing the hazardous diseases and their prevention, including the development of vaccines. Turkmen Foreign Minister 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, Panova stated the necessity of reducing the social and humanitarian impacts of the pandemic.
Catherine Smallwood, Senior Emergency Officer at WHO/Europe, headed the WHO mission.