NUR-SULTAN – The Kazakh government has opened an Emergency Health Operations Centre in the capital aimed towards emergency response preparedness, protecting the life and well-being of the country’s population and minimising the negative consequences of emergency situations.
“This centre has been established to implement the requirements of the International Health Regulations (IHR) and the Global Health Protection Programme for the government of Kazakhstan to meet the public health response obligations of the member states to prevent the international spread of diseases. The IHR were adopted by 196 countries of the world, including Kazakhstan, at the 58th World Health Assembly in 2005,” said Healthcare Ministry National Centre for Public Health Director Valikhan Akhmetov in his welcoming speech at the launch of the facility.
The April 12 presentation was attended by United States Embassy in Kazakhstan Deputy Chief of Mission Ted Ling and representatives of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Kazakhstan, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Agriculture Veterinary Supervision and Control Committee, among others.
The centre was created according to international health regulations and the global health protection programme, said Healthcare Ministry National Centre for Public Health Deputy Director Damir Kobzhasarov.
“This centre was created with the support of the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Technical and methodological support is provided here [locally]. In general, this centre is designed to ensure that our country and our healthcare system and medicine can respond in time to all cases of public health emergencies, whether they have chemical, radiological or biological nature,” he said.
Zhandarbek Bekshin, the Healthcare Ministry Public Health Committee Chair – Chief State Sanitary Doctor, noted the centre will serve citizens’ safety.
“We had the opportunity to get acquainted with the activities of a similar situation centre at the CDC in Atlanta… I think this centre will serve primarily for the security of the people of Kazakhstan and it will also improve the technical operational equipment of the Ministry of Healthcare,” he said.
The centre currently has a chemist, radiologist, infectious diseases epidemiologist and IT specialist who will accumulate risk data and inform the relevant state structures to ensure preventive measures, as well as during emergency events.
“Further expansion is planned in order to adequately and fully respond to all cases of emergency situations. We now understand that five people are for the time being the minimum that can ensure the collection and monitoring of information and in the future, we will prepare reserve personnel,” said Kobzhasarov.