President of the Republic of Tajikistan

Address in a meeting with healthcare officials and workers

20.05.2020 14:36, Dushanbe city

Distinguished healthcare officials and workers!

The current situation and seeking solutions to existing problems and challenges is the purpose of today’s meeting.

The ancient Tajik people gave the world hundreds of scholars, such as Avicenna and Zakariyo Ar-Roziy, whose heritages have not lost their significance today and serve humanity as medical guides and reference books.

In this field, the merits of the great Avicenna, who at one time served not only his people, but also extended a helping hand to people of various nationalities, are particularly unique, regardless of their religious and racial background.

For over five months now, humanity has been seriously concerned about the coronavirus pandemic. But fortunately, countries whose inhabitants were infected with this disease at the end of 2019, passed its peak and gradually, lifting restrictions, are returning to normal life. But for the population of countries that were affected later, it is taking some time to get through it.

First cases of the coronavirus were officially registered in our country in April. Today, thousands of doctors and nurses are at the forefront, day and night selflessly fighting this disease and serving the people of Tajikistan.

Therefore, on behalf of the government, I personally express gratitude to all the doctors and nurses who are treating those affected during these difficult days and wish each of them good health and success. According to analysis, the mortality rate in Tajikistan is lower than 0.2% in comparison to global rates for pneumonia, 10.2% for tuberculosis, almost 37% for cancer and 17.4% for HIV/AIDS.

From the first days of the pandemic and pneumonia, we took timely measures and headed by the Prime Minister [Kokhir Rasulzoda] created a Republican Commission on the Prevention and Fight against COVID-19. Also, funds in the amount of 29 million somoni were transferred to aid and support the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population.

By quarantining those coming into the country, followed by closing borders and banning international flights, we have been able to prevent the spread of the virus for some time. However, international experience shows that to date, in addition to observing the rules of personal and public hygiene, there is no other effective way to prevent the spread of the virus.

To solve urgent problems, the first funds were allocated from the state budget and the Presidential Reserve, which is being spent on the purchase of necessary medical equipment and medications.

In addition, accounts have been opened in the central treasury of the Ministry of Finance and the National Bank. As of today, 11 million somoni has been transferred to these accounts, and their use is determined and controlled out by the COVID Republican Commission at the proposal of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population. The purchased essentials are being delivered to hospitals and infected people.

To eliminate the shortcomings and prevent the spread of this infectious disease, it is necessary to implement the following additional measures:

The Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population should take firm control of the uninterrupted operation of hospitals, clinics, health centers and first-aid posts, take operational measures to provide them with medications, modern medical equipment, food products and personal hygiene products, and submit reports to the Republican Commission in a timely manner about the course of solving existing problems. I emphasize that now there are no difficulties with provision, although in medical institutions it is necessary to improve the level and quality of patient care.

In addition, the Ministry of Health and Protection of the Population is charged with organizing short-term training courses on infectious diseases, for doctors, virologists and nurses in each city and region; determining the supply of medications, protective clothing and antiviral essentials and coordinate their list with the Republican Committee daily; carrying out treatment of individuals without coronavirus and pneumonia at home by family doctors, and closely monitor their work and the treatment process; to create a working group with the inclusion of scientists from the fields of medicine, physics, chemistry, biology, genetics and other industries to determine the causes and consequences of this disease and take timely measures to implement their recommendations; in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Modern Technologies, the National Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Agricultural Sciences, to establish the production of primary medical equipment, disinfectant solutions and medications that are made from local medicinal herbs; with the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the Ministry of Industry and Modern Technologies and the National Academy of Sciences to develop a state program with the aim of preventing and treating infectious diseases of new types, to organize trainings for healthcare personnel both in the country and abroad, especially for virologists, epidemiologists, resuscitation specialists and to introduce a state program for the development and introduction of vaccines, drugs and protective equipment in production within two months.

Likewise, it is necessary to establish the Interdepartmental Council under the National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan for the development of a system of scientific measures aimed at eliminating the COVID-19 disease. The Ministry of Industry and Modern Technologies in cooperation with scientists from the fields of medicine and natural sciences must promptly increase the production of medications from medicinal herbs, masks, and personal protective equipment. Mechanisms of small-scale state enterprises must be examined for the production and provision of hospitals and health centers with oxygen and a concrete proposal must be submitted to the COVID-19 Republican Commission.

The officials of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population and medical institutions which treat patients affected by the disease should ensure the economical use of funds allocated from the state budget and the Presidential Reserve, as well as humanitarian aid received from friendly countries and development partners, international organizations, patriotic entrepreneurs and others generous individuals. The Republican Commission is entrusted with the Agency for State Financial Control and the Fight against Corruption to take this issue under decisive control.

The heads and officials of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population, heads of diagnostic and treatment institutions and doctors are strongly instructed to take high and honest responsibility in the performance of their duties.

All healthcare institutions, pharmaceutical enterprises, pharmacies and companies that supply medications should be switched to 24-hour operation schedule, in order to provide the population with medications and medical equipment in a timely manner.

Tajikistan’s nature gifts us with all types of herbs necessary for the pharmaceutical industry, but so far we do not have enough pharmaceutical companies that can satisfy the needs of the population in the context of border closures and the ban on travel to foreign countries. In this regard, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population must develop a state program for the development of the pharmaceutical industry together with other relevant structures and agencies and submit the proposal to the government within three months.

Once again, I want to emphasize one important idea. The emergence and rapid spread of this disease around the world has put many developed and technologically advanced countries with a huge potential of the pharmaceutical industry in an awkward and confusing situation. This situation should be a lesson for us and encourages us in the realization that we should place the highest priority in the education of highly qualified personnel and retraining and exchange of experience with highly qualified specialists from developed countries.

Climate change, the occurrence of various natural and technological disasters, including floods, droughts, avalanches, receding glaciers and other undesirable phenomena can precipitate various maladies. It is possible that one of the reasons for the emergence of the coronavirus are these factors. Therefore, to attach serious importance to issues of nature conservation and ensuring environmental cleanliness is the most important task of all mankind, including our people.

Taking this opportunity, I strictly instruct the chairmen of all regions, cities and districts where there are no hospitals for the treatment of infectious diseases, with the involvement of patriotic and generous entrepreneurs, to begin to build such institutions as soon as possible and put them into operation with all necessary medical equipment by the 30th anniversary of independence.

I am sure that by implementing these measures, we will be able to curb the spread of this infectious disease and create a favorable calm atmosphere for all our compatriots. We will continue to engage in creative work, and we will make our beloved Tajikistan even more beautiful and comfortable.

Since independence, Tajiks experienced times which were much more difficult. I declare with confidence that we will go through this period with dignity. Undoubtedly, our doctors will cope with difficulties with a sense of high responsibility and humanism, will make effort to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus and with its complete elimination, will win.

At the end, I wish you, dear doctors and nurses, success and new achievements. The head of state is always with you. Together we will come out victorious in this struggle, ensuring the health of our people.

Always be healthy and succeed in everything!

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