The aid is continuing to come to Tajikistan in the form of cash but also in food supplies and medical equipment.  Thus, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Tajikistan and UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) build capacities of medical professionals and continue delivering medical supplies to support Tajikistan’s Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population (MoHSPP) to prevent the spread of the COVID19 in the country

As part of joint efforts to strengthen the national capacity of Tajikistan in preparedness and response to the potential spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-2019), SDC and UNICEF reportedly continue supporting a MoHSPP with essential medical supplies, protective gears and training family doctors and nurses, who will be in the frontlines of combatting COVID19 in the country.

A new batch of medical supplies, worth more than 500,000 somoni was procured with the technical support from UNICEF Tajikistan and financial support of SDC office in Tajikistan.

Supplies reportedly included 1,863 disposable coveralls, 1,000 sanitary gloves, 2,000 respirators, 1,500 masks, 1,000 goggles, 1,500 plastic face shields, 6,000 kilograms of chlorine, 2,000 sanitizers, 100 Ultraviolet lamps, 1,000 disposable caps, 1,000 disposable shoe covers and 50 thermo-scanners, were officially handed over to the MoHSPP.

Along with the set of necessary communication materials that were developed to support nationwide behavior change campaign on COVID19, the intervention will include communication package for healthcare professionals and capacity building opportunity to strengthen the knowledge of the frontline workers with information, tools and procedures to safely and effectively combat COVID19 in the country.

“As the pandemic is spreading all over the planet, health workers are increasingly exposed to infection. It is very important that we – governments and development partners – care for them by providing protective outfits free of charge. Switzerland is contributing to this joint effort.  We also want to increase the awareness of health workers and allow them to take informed decisions for their own safety.  They should be empowered to fulfill their duties without taking unnecessary risks. All over the world, women are proportionally overrepresented in frontline health and social sector responder roles and they are leading actors in informing the communities.  Thus, reaching women and girls and educating them on the disease is crucial to impede and eventually contain an outbreak,” noted the Head of the Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) in Tajikistan, Ms. Walburga Roos.

Mr. Luciano Calestini, Representative of UNICEF in Tajikistan added: “In just a few months, COVID-19 has upended the lives of billions of people around the world, most of them children and women.  With the support of partners like the Swiss Development Cooperation, and in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, UNICEF is able to respond to critical preventative actions in the country – both to strengthen the capacity of frontline medical workers to safely provide vital services, and also to inform vulnerable communities on measures they can take to keep themselves and their families safe.”

Taking into account the potential threat the virus poses to children and families – and although thus far, according to official MOHSPP data, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in Tajikistan –UNICEF and other development partners will continue to support the Tajik government in preparing and responding to the potential spread of the disease.

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is the technical authority of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation. SDC is responsible for the overall coordination of activities in developing countries and countries of Eastern Europe, as well as for humanitarian assistance from Switzerland.

Within its Cooperation Strategy for 2017-2021 for Central Asia, Switzerland focuses on four sectors in Tajikistan, such as a) Water, Infrastructure and Climate Change; b) Health; c) Governance, Institutions and Decentralization; d) Employment and Economic Development.  The overall goal of the Swiss Cooperation in Tajikistan is peace and social cohesion as well as responsive and inclusive institutions and sustainable development improve the population’s well-being.    

UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in 190 countries to help the most disadvantaged children. Established in 1946, the UN Children's Fund works with partners to overcome the issues children face due to poverty, violence, disease and discrimination.  UNICEF began its work in Tajikistan in 1993.