KOICA and Sanitary and Epidemiological Welfare and Public Health Service launch a new project for strengthening capacity for response to infectious diseases
On 22 December 2022, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), an official agency responsible for the Korean government’s grant aid program, and the Sanitary and Epidemiological Welfare and Public Health Service of the Republic of Uzbekistan signed a Record of Discussions (R/D) for the implementation of KOICA’s new project titled “Project for Strengthening Capacity for Response to Infectious Diseases to Reduce Disease Burden in Uzbekistan”.
The objectives of the new grant-aid project (2022-2026), with a budget of 14.15 mln USD, include establishment of a systematic response system for infectious disease and strengthen the crisis response system, strengthening the capacity development for epidemiological investigation and infectious disease monitoring as well as the introduction of a rapid/accurate diagnosis system for national infectious disease laboratories of the sanitary-epidemiological services.
The launching ceremony was attended by the representatives of the Ministry of Health, Sanitary and Epidemiological Welfare and Public Health Service, Tashkent Medical Academy, World Health Organization Country Office in Uzbekistan, Research Institute of Virology, Center for the development of professional qualification of medical workers as well as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea to the Republic of Uzbekistan Kim Hee-sang.
The Head of the Sanitary and Epidemiological Welfare and Public Health Service Yusupaliev B.K. thanked KOICA agency for continuous collaboration in fighting the infectious diseases through joint implementation of two phases of the project for Quality Improvement in Diagnosis of Infectious Disease during 2009-2019 (US$9.0 mln), and the COVID-19 Comprehensive Response Program during 2020-2022 (US$10.0 mln) to increase the capacity of government officials in diagnosis, prevention and epidemiological surveillance of infectious diseases and equipping the healthcare institutions of Uzbekistan with modern laboratory and diagnostic equipment.
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea to Uzbekistan Kim Hee-sang extended his gratitude for the active cooperation of the Uzbek side and stated his confidence that the new project will contribute to the developing of the most effective response strategies to infectious diseases and further strengthen partnership between Korea and Uzbekistan.
Deputy Minister of Health Sabirov U.Y. assured that Uzbek side plans to continuously collaborate with KOICA to achieve the project objectives, such as strengthening the capacity of national laboratory system of SES, building capacity to respond to epidemiological investigations of infectious diseases as well as implementation of a rapid/accurate diagnostic system for national infectious disease laboratories.
Rector of the Tashkent Medical Academy (TMA) Shadmanov A.K. congratulated all participants on the launch of such a large-scale project and made a proposal to organize a training module for undergraduate and graduate students within the iframework of the project, and invited Korean partners to cooperate in the field of scientific laboratory research.
Further, the participants held discussions to identify the cooperation points within the new project and formation of Joint Steering Committee and Working Group for implementation of project components.