Borikhan Shaumarov

UNODC helps to protect the frontline staff of drug treatment and HIV prevention facilities in Uzbekistan during COVID-19

Shared by Borikhan Shaumarov - 8 December 2020
Originally posted by Borikhan Shaumarov - 8 December 2020

As COVID-19 becomes a “new norm” and the number of positive cases is not as high as it used to be, we still need to stay alert especially when it comes to those who are the most vulnerable to the possible negative consequences.

The statement that we can hear during any airplane flight is “In case of emergency, put on the mask on YOURSELF first, and then put it on your child.” The meaning of this instruction is that without protecting yourself first, you might not be able to help those who need it most. The same principle applies to the frontline staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those, whose work is to help the most vulnerable populations in their needs, need to be protected first.

In November 2020 UNODC provided personal protection equipment (PPE) to the Republican AIDS Center with the support from UNAIDS, for the amount of 5,000 USD. The handed over PPE items included antiseptic liquids, medical masks, gloves, respirators, disposable covers and face shields.

PPE items have also been handed over to Narcological Service of the Republic of Uzbekistan with support from U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) for the total amount of 5,000 USD for further dissemination to the Tashkent City Narcological Dispensary, Tashkent Regional Narcological Dispensary, Djizakh Regional Narcological Dispensary, Samarkand Regional Narcological Dispensary, Syrdarya Regional Narcological Dispensary and Republican Specialized Scientific and Practical Medical Center of Narcology.

This PPE was provided on request from the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republican AIDS Center, as part of UNODC support to national COVID-19 response in Uzbekistan.

Nargiza Kenjaeva from Samarkand Regional Narcological Dispensary shared the following appreciation message: “In this difficult time on a global scale, when all medical services are experiencing shortage of PPE items, UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia extended a helping hand and selfless support to the health care system of Uzbekistan. The donated items helped to timely protect and prevent the spread of coronavirus infection among vulnerable groups, such as patients undergoing treatment in a narcological hospital and medical workers of drug treatment services. Samarkand Regional Department of Health and Narcological Dispensary express its sincere gratitude for the ongoing support and assistance to the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia in such a difficult period with the wishes of prosperity, development and health”.

Adham Ropijanov from Djizakh Regional Narcological Dispensary noted, “The disposable hygiene items provided to us by UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia have been a great help during the pandemic. These products helped to further enhance the protection of medical personnel and increase the effectiveness of prevention of the spread of coronavirus infection.”

This support to national COVID-19 response in Uzbekistan was provided within the Sub-Programme 3 “Drug Prevention, Treatment, Reintegration, and HIV prevention” of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia for 2015-2020 and UNODC global project GLOJ71 “Treating drug dependence and its health consequences: Treatnet II” with support from Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section of UNODC HQ. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for Central Asia in Uzbekistan works closely with drug treatment facilities and the Republican AIDS Center to ensure access to medical services by people who use drugs and people living with HIV.