KOICA and UNOPS hand over life-saving medical equipment and supplies to Uzbekistan to assist the Ministry of Health combat the COVID-19 pandemic
- Diagnostic equipment and supplies began arriving in Uzbekistan as part of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Emergency Response Assistance Programme. As of today, 43 types of distinct items have been cleared through the customs, and are being handed over to the medical institutions across the country to help COVID-19 patients in Uzbekistan.
These deliveries are being made as a part of KOICA’s 5 million USD 2020 Emergency Response Program, under which a 3.2 million USD project is managed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). The project aims to help the Government of Uzbekistan combat the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country. It will be focusing on providing COVID-19 screening, advanced laboratory and diagnostic equipment, and other life-saving laboratory and medical supplies to Tashkent, Nukus, and Samarkand.
These items will be deployed to seven institutions in Uzbekistan, namely the Ministry of Health; Sanitary and Epidemiological Welfare and Public Health Service; Research Institute of Virology; National Children’s Medical Center; Clinic under the Medical Institute of Karakalpakstan; L. Isaev Branch of the Republican Specialized Scientific and Practical Medical Center of Epidemiology, Microbiology, Infectious and Parasitic Diseases in Samarkand; and Republican Specialized Scientific and Practical Medical Center for Phthisiology and Pulmonology. An additional 600 thousand USD was allocated for procurement of a CT Scanner for the Research Institute of Virology separately by KOICA.
An official event to commence the handover of equipment to Uzbekistan was held on May 12 at the KOICA Simulating-Innovation Learning Center of the National Children’s Medical Center (NCMC) in Tashkent with the participation of Sanitary and Epidemiological Welfare and Public Health Service, KOICA, NCMC and UNOPS.
Over the next months, the remaining essential medical equipment and supplies will be arriving in Uzbekistan. UNOPS and its partners will also conduct capacity development sessions to the relevant medical personnel on operating and maintaining the equipment.
These interventions will aim to strengthen the country’s capability to identify and surveil COVID-19 and other infectious disease cases among its population and people entering Uzbekistan in a timely manner. The project will also aspire to advance the long-term laboratory and medical diagnostic and epidemiological response capacities of the mentioned laboratories and medical facilities.
Ms. Pak Sun-jin, Director of KOICA’s Uzbekistan Office, said:
“The KOICA 2020-2021 Emergency Response Assistance Program builds on the decades-long relationship between the Governments of South Korea and Uzbekistan, and aims to provide comprehensive support to help Uzbekistan overcome the health and socio-economic crisis caused by COVID-19.
In addition to the provision of essential medical equipment and supplies to Uzbekistan, KOICA has also been assisting the country to strengthen its capacities to respond to infectious disease outbreaks by availing technical expertise and creating synergies with similar initiatives.”
Mr. Abdulla Azizov, Deputy Minister of Health of Uzbekistan said: “I am confident that this contribution will help significantly mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in Uzbekistan. This tripartite partnership of the Ministry of Health with KOICA and UNOPS is an opportunity to make the country’s health system more robust for all citizens of Uzbekistan through international assistance.
“With KOICA’s generous support and UNOPS’ expertise in procurement and project management, Uzbekistan will be better prepared to face future epidemics and pandemics.”
Ms. Freya von Groote, UNOPS’ Director of the Austria Multi-Country Office and Representative to Uzbekistan, said:
“UNOPS is honored to deliver this important initiative on behalf of KOICA and the Government of Uzbekistan, and to be able to make a difference in people’s lives.
“UNOPS is committed to continuing to support the Government in its COVID-19 response and recovery efforts by providing expertise in efficient project, procurement and infrastructure management.”