REACT-C19 project continues to support Azerbaijan in scaling-up COVID-19 readiness and response

BAKU, 22 may 2020 – REACT-C19 project, which aims to support Azerbaijan in rapidly scaling up essential capacities for COVID-19 readiness and response finished its second sprint with impressive outcomes covering 8 hospitals in a month and a half. The project started in the middle of April with the arrival to Baku of 19 Azerbaijani doctors currently working in Turkey.

“During a month and a half, the REACT-C19 team of doctors assessed the current situation in selected hospitals and supported the elimination of identified gaps. We are grateful to the hospital management and staff for the commitment to the process and to our doctors for their motivation and contribution” said Dr Hande Harmanci, the WHO Representative to Azerbaijan.

“The appeal from the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, His Excellency Mr. Ilham Aliyev to our people “We are strong together”, which triggered the mobilization of all resources in the country to defeat the pandemic must be the message to the world community and to all the countries to demonstrate solidarity in our united battle with coronavirus pandemic. REACT – C19 project is the best reflection of the international partnership for solidarity and mobilization of all efforts to overcome this challenge,” stated Soltan Mammadov, the representative of Heydar Aliyev Foundation. 

“The second phase of the REACT-C19 project has been successfully completed, and we are now in the next phase. I am confident that the support of our compatriots from Turkey to their counterparts in our country during the pandemic will bring very positive results, and we will complete the fight against coronavirus with minimal losses,” underlined Shahriyar Fatullayev, Advisor to the Chairman of the Executive Board of TABIB.

REACT-C19 teams in the field

After finishing their work in 4 hospitals (Central Hospital of Oilmen, New Clinics, Educational-Therapeutic Clinic of Azerbaijan Medical University and Surgical clinic of Azerbaijan Medical University) in Baku, the teams departed to 4 regions: Ganja, Agdash, Goranboy and Shamkir.  

Using the WHO Hospital Readiness Checklist, the REACT-C19 team of doctors made an assessment in selected capacities in the hospitals, made a joint action plan with the hospital management and started activities to address them. The use of a standardized assessment tool gave healthcare workers confidence in their daily activities.

The teams worked in establishing or strengthening Infection Prevention and Control Committees, and setting up triage systems. These are important interventions to minimize infection spread to health care workers, patients and their families. 

During this time, more than 400 healthcare workers including doctors, nurses and auxiliary personnel in hospitals (like cleaning staff, porters, cooks, etc.)  attended the hands-on training activities delivered by REACT-C19 teams. 

In addition to training and setting of standards, the teams also helped the local doctors in the management of critically ill patients. 

The REACT-C19 teams will continue their work in different parts of Azerbaijan until the end of June.

About REACT-C19 project 

In partnership with the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Ministry of Health, State Agency on Mandatory Health Insurance, TABIB, USAID, the British Embassy in Baku and the Republic of Korea WHO is implementing the Rapid Scale-up of Essential Capacities for COVID-19 (REACT-C19) project for strengthening essential response capacities Azerbaijan. 19 doctors in the specialty areas of infectious diseases, pulmonology, anesthesiology and reanimation, internal medicine, currently working in Turkey, form the backbone of the REACT-C19 teams.

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