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3 Dec 2020

Support provided by UN family and International Community


WHO Pristina jointly with WHO Balkan Hub, is intensively preparing for a series of training of trainers (ToT) sessions on surveillance, contact tracing, IPC and laboratory diagnostics. These trainings will start on 14th of Dec until 18th of Dec 2020. The goal of the trainings is to increase regional capacities on COVID management, by equipping the Institute of Public Health epidemiologist and microbiologist with relevant knowledge and skills.

A WHO consultant from Balkan Hub, Dr Silvana Gastaldi (an expert on clinical management-infection, prevention & control) is currently in a mission in Kosovo providing support and assessing the situation related to IPC measures and constrains in health care facilities. Amongst other things, she is also supporting the development of a holistic training plan that will include IPC and other segments. She is also meeting all relevant stakeholders to get a better sense of the situation.

In the framework of the Healthier Kosovo project, WHO is supporting IPH to carry out assessments of environmental conditions in 10 schools in Kosovo. To begin with, WHO has donated the necessary samplers and sensors, prepared the questionnaires, and provided the necessary trainings to the IPH staff. Similar assessments are planned to continue in the future and will provide useful insight on the conditions in schools, which allow decision makers in designing interventions where they are most needed.

WHO engaged in supporting the deployment of an expert emergency medical team (EMT) to Kosovo in order to support the health system with the most up to date procedures for emergency cases and clinics aiming at decreasing the mortality rate for COVID-19 patients in use of manual ventilation. The EMT deployed to Kosovo in September.

  • Professor Mark Katz, Medical Epidemiologist and Consultant for WHO-Europe in Kosovo (5 August – 26 September 2020) – The purpose of his consultancy is to evaluate in-depth the response from the authorities based on 9 pillars of SPRP and subsequently provide a set of recommendations for the improvement of surveillance, risk communications and infection prevention. Also, his consultancy consists of field visit to regional hospitals and primary health care level. Mr Katz is a US citizen with extensive experience from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) in Atlanta and based in Israel.
  • Dr Katarina Febe Niward (20 – 29 August 2020) – Swedish infectiology specialist that has been treating COVID-19 patients in Linkoping. In addition to her infectious disease background, she is associated with the Medical School in Linkoping and is involved in research, mainly TBC, but this may get handy when it comes to addressing monitoring and evaluation issues of clinical management performance. Dr Niward worked closely with clinicians for better COVID-19 case management.
  • Ana Hoxha, an EPIET (European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training) will support IPH to enhance the Covid-19 surveillance activities, case detection, contact tracing, integrate all data to GoData platform and provide training. She will support IPH for 6 weeks (September – October 2020).
  • Armand Bejtullahu, Technical Officer WHO HQ Specialist on outbreak investigation platform GoData is permanently supporting IPH in setting up the GoData database and importing the data for COVID-19 patients. (August – September 2020).
  • Professor Golubinka Boshevska conducted 2 days (5-7 August) training on molecular testing for all microbiologist following the decision of the Ministry of Health to scale up laboratory and testing capacities.

Upon request of Ministry of Health WHO Pristina office asked from WHO Regional Office for Europe for the mission to support institution of Kosovo in response to the COVID-19 emergency. (10 – 17 July 2020). A team of experts from the WHO EURO conducted the mission to assess the situation and identify needs for support. The team consisted of Dr. Ardita Tahirukaj, Dr. Paula Vasconcelos, Technical Officers from the WHO Regional Office for Europe, Health Emergencies Programme and Ms. Anja Borojevic, a WHO Consultant. WHO is continuing with the deployment of emergency medical teams (EMT) to Kosovo, currently with a group from Germany ready to support health institutions in the clinical management of Covid-19 cases. A German EMT deployed to Kosovo on September 22, 2020. The team consists of clinical staff involved in the management and treatment of COVID-19 patients. WHO is in final stages of consulting with health stakeholders in Kosovo to develop a detailed plan and schedules of hospitals that would benefit the most from this mission.

World Bank Group

  • World Bank’s Kosovo Health Project (KHP): A new component has been added to this project to support urgent needs of the Government to respond to COVID-19 pandemic. The component has already supported procurement of PPEs and infusion pumps in the value of ~1.1million USD. Another package of ~0.7million USD for PPEs is in the process. In addition, this component will support mobilization of healthcare providers and support staff, as well as rehabilitation of the main quarantine are. The recruitment of 75 doctors, 150 nurses, 20 laboratory technicians, 55 technical support staff, and 75 sanitary inspectors for a period of 3 months for all levels of care.
  • World Bank’s Kosovo COVID-19 Emergency Response Project (US$ 50 million): The Project’s objective is to prevent, detect, and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness in Kosovo. The Project supports two key components: (i) Emergency COVID-19 Response in the health sector (US$ 17.6 million), and (ii) Supporting households to comply with public health containment measures in the social protection sector (US$ 31.4 million).
  • World Bank’s Pandemic Emergency Facility Trust Fund (PEF) (US$ 2.1 million) is a stand-alone Recipient Executed Trust Fund aiming to support the Government in its efforts to strengthen detection capacities related to COVID-19. There is one key component under this Project: support the enhancement of disease detection capacities for COVID-19. This component will support procurement of public health laboratory equipment and supplies such as kits, serological tests, RT-PCR equipment, PCR set up, automated immunoanalyzer, immunoassays, laboratory refrigerators, freezers etc.

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UN Kosovo Team in Brief, November 2020 Edition

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