Press Release

Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe underlines importance of Azerbaijan’s health financing reforms during official visit

26 April 2022

  • Building on the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic, strengthening access to quality health care reforms, and spotlighting life-saving vaccination as the Region marks European Immunization Week, are some of the issues on the agenda during Dr Kluge’s 2-day visit to Azerbaijan on 26-27 April 2022.

“The pandemic has underlined the importance of ensuring everyone has access to quality health services, and I am very pleased to see the concrete steps that Azerbaijan is taking in this direction through its health financing reform, with the strong backing of President Aliyev,” said Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge.

“Being in Azerbaijan during European Immunization Week 2022, I am looking forward to talking to medical students - your immunization leaders of the future - and learning from them how to overcome barriers to vaccination so that all can enjoy this life-saving protection. Working together to find local solutions to local challenges is at the heart of the European Programme of Work, 2020-2025 ‘United Action for Better Health’ that all countries in the Region have signed up to,” he added.

Today, on the first day of the visit, the WHO Regional Director for Europe met with Mr Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Dr Kluge thanked the President for his support to WHO’s pandemic response efforts and to the COVAX facility. The Regional Director also congratulated the country for their decisive efforts to decrease out-of-pocket expenditures for health and assure quality health services for all through health financing reforms. He emphasized WHO’s willingness to continue its strong collaboration with Azerbaijan in the areas of health system strengthening, primary healthcare (PHC), and human resources for health.

A series of meetings with national health authorities, focusing on the European Immunization Agenda 2030, was held at the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Dr Kluge met with Teymur Musayev, the Minister of Health, Zaur Aliyev, the Chairman of the Executive Board of the State Agency on Mandatory Health Insurance (SAMHI), Vugar Gurbanov, the Acting Head of the Administration of Regional Medical Divisions (TABIB), Garay Garaybayli, the Rector of the Azerbaijan Medical University (AMU) and other high-level officials.

“WHO work and collaboration in Azerbaijan: Reflections for the future” was the theme of a roundtable meeting with WHO, other UN entities and development partners, arranged at the Heydar Aliyev Center, and hosted by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. A photo exhibition on this theme was organized to showcase 28 years of WHO activities in Azerbaijan.

On the second day of the country visit, the WHO Regional Director will visit the Shamakhi region, which has been the site of a Primary Health Care Demonstration project by WHO Azerbaijan for the past two years, undertaken in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, SAMHI and TABIB. Dr Kluge will observe European Immunization Week field activities in Goyler village, meet medical students and community leaders, and visit the WHO Shamakhi Training Center.

In addition, Dr Kluge will also stop in at the WHO Collaborating Centre on Prevention and Control of Tuberculosis in Prisons during the second half of the day before finalizing his mission in Azerbaijan.

Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe underlines importance of Azerbaijan’s health financing reforms during official visit

Fanara Bunyadzada

Fanara Bunyadzada

Communications Officer

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