The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge concluded his visit to Georgia, where he held a series of meetings with Georgian officials between December 18-22.
On December 22, the final day of the five-day working trip to Georgia, Kluge met with the President of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili, discussing a number of issues, including the necessity of “urgent action to reduce cancer” and the COVID-19 vaccine deployment strategy.
The same day the Regional Director also met Georgian civil society representatives, with WHO/Europe tweeting that “civil society has vital role in Health for All, working with WHO on issues such as tobacco control, safer roads, harm reduction & mental health.”
A day before, the WHO Regional Director met with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, discussing the role of hotel and online clinics in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the strategic importance of the Lugar Research Center and the infrastructural and logistical process of vaccination, as reported by the Government press service.
The same day Kluge visited the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health of Georgia (NCDC). Amiran Gamkrelidze, NCDC Head, introduced Kluge to the Lugar Research Center and the measures undertaken by the state body against the COVID-19 pandemic, including contact tracing and testing strategies.
According to the NCDC, Kluge dubbed the public health institution and its Lugar Center as “Center of Excellence,” while also appreciating the “effective work” of the state body in tobacco control and Hepatitis C screening coverage.
Site visit with @NCDCGeorgia 🇬🇪 to discuss:
✅Prioritizing cancer, tobacco control & hypertension programmes #BeatNCDs
✅Validation: elimination mother-to-child transmission of HIV
✅🇬🇪 participation in regional certification: malaria-free status #UnitedActionForBetterHealth pic.twitter.com/NqetOPiD4H
— Hans Kluge (@hans_kluge) December 22, 2020
On December 19, Hans Kluge met with the EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell. The parties covered the EU support to the county’s healthcare system against the pandemic, as well as “further developments related to COVID-19 and perspectives of cooperation with the WHO.”
On the same day, Kluge also visited the Public Safety Command Center 112, where he was introduced to the working process of the hotline.
At a December 18 meeting, Georgian Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze informed WHO Reginal Director Hans Kluge about the country’s COVID-19 measures, including the Central Online Clinic, a monitoring mechanism established by the Ministry to consult and manage COVID-19-infected patients and contacts remotely.
Discussing the COVID-19 vaccination plan in Georgia, Tikaradze said the WHO Regional Director’s visit is important for strengthening communication and planning in the process.
Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze @MOHgovge:
✅Reiterating that we have no health care without our #healthworkers👉2021 yr of #healthworker
✅Vital to reduce out-of-pocket-payments for #UHC
✅Increase access to medicines including through Oslo Initiative#UnitedActionForBetterHealth pic.twitter.com/Ipyc98unVu
— Hans Kluge (@hans_kluge) December 18, 2020