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Preparing for the Next Pandemic in Central Asia

Representatives from Central Asian Governments met IOM, CDC and other partners in Uzbekistan to discuss trans-border coordination on health issues.

The global concern over an outbreak of monkeypox, so swiftly on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the need for continued vigilance at border and constant coordination between countries to prevent the spread of diseases.

With this in mind, IOM has just finished a cross-border collaboration exercise, supported by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the Uzbek capital Tashkent, with the participation of partners from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
 
The workshop brought together health and non-health experts from across the vast region, and advanced their communication and coordination responses. 
 
In his keynote speech, US Ambassador Daniel Rosenblum  said the event was “an excellent illustration of the growing collaboration between Central Asian countries and the USA, and an opportunity to deepen collaboration in trans-regional security in health, migration, and border control.”
 
IOM’s senior regional health adviser, Dr Jaime Calderon noted that while monkeypox is currently garnering headlines there are many other diseases of high significance in the region, including anthrax, salmonella, typhoid, Congo-Crimean Haemorrhagic Fever, Guillain Barre Syndrome, Rabies and more. All can potentially be spread by humans and animals crossing borders, which is matter of international concern, given that the Central Asia region has up to five million international migrants. 
 
Uzbekistan’s Deputy Minister of Health, Sabirov Ulugbek Yusuphanovich said that the project “showed the high demand and interest of Central Asian in improving trans border coordination and communication using best international practices and opportunities for dialogue.”

The initiative is in line with the proposal for amendment of the International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005 made at the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva last week. 
 
CDC, the United States' leading public health agency, has a long history of collaboration with governments in Central Asia on public health issues. CDC opened its first office in Almaty in 1995, and today it has offices in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. CDC works with each Ministry of Health to strengthen local laboratory, disease surveillance, and workforce capacity so that the countries can better prevent, detect and respond to disease outbreaks. 

For more information please contact Joe Lowry in IOM’s Vienna Regional Office on +4360 3776404 or jlowry@iom.int
 

SDG 3 - Good Health and Well Being
SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals