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EU and WHO hand over equipment to help medical facilities fight COVID-19

The WHO and the European Union handed over 180 oxygen concentrators, 2 000 pulse oximeters and other medical equipment to the Ministry of IDPs from Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia. The equipment will be used to outfit rural medical facilities to help citizens all over the country have better access to healthcare.The concentrators and oximeters were symbolically handed over today to the Ministry of IDPs from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia today, by Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia and Silviu Domente, WHO Representative and Head of Country Office in Georgia.

Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia stated, “While handover ceremonies may have become routine, there is nothing routine about people struggling to breathe or not having access to proper healthcare. Together with our partners in the WHO and the Government of Georgia, we continue working to make sure that citizens all over Georgia receive improved access to healthcare and support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together with the rest of Team Europe, we remain committed to stand by Georgia during this difficult time.”

"We have been living with the coronavirus pandemic for two years now, and WHO thanks the EU for its constant and steady support throughout. Together, we have delivered critical supplies, trained healthcare workers, provided health guidance and tackled misinformation. The challenge ahead of us now is to strengthen the health system - particularly primary health care - so that everyone can access services regardless of where they live." – says Silviu Domente, WHO Representative and Head of Country Office in Georgia.

The supplies were purchased through a large-scale EU-UN action to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, by bolstering rural healthcare facilities. At a later stage, the initiative will also provide village ambulatory units with telemedicine equipment to improve access to health care.

The donation is a part of broader assistance from the European Union and WHO, to support Georgia's response to COVID-19. So far, this has included a provision of vital medical equipment, technical expertise and training of health care workers.

In the long-term, the EU and UN support under this project will help build a more resilient primary health care system with telemedicine capacities increasing equitable access to healthcare services accelerating Georgia’s progress towards Universal Health Coverage.

The project, “Minimizing the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in Georgia through telemedicine and digital health solutions,” aims to harness the potential of digital tools for advancing telehealth services and promoting health in Georgia. This assistance is an integral part of the EU’s and UN’s support to the COVID-19 response in the country, as well as ongoing WHO technical assistance under the UHC-Partnership to support the commitment of national authorities to primary health care reform and the advancement of UHC in Georgia.

The project is implemented by four UN partners (WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNOPS) under WHO leadership, bringing their respective areas of expertise and added-value to contribute to the overall action’s objective to minimize the COVID-19 pandemic's negative impact on people’s health and the health system through quality telehealth and telemedicine services and to build back better by supporting a sustainable and resilient recovery in Georgia after the COVID-19 pandemic.

This assistance is part of a wider support package provided by the EU and Team Europe consisting of GEL 1.5 billion of new and reallocated assistance to help Georgia address the COVID-19 pandemic, including support to vulnerable groups and economic recovery. That is one of the highest levels of EU assistance per capita to any country in the world and demonstrates the EU’s strong solidarity with Georgia at this time of unprecedented crisis.


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