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World Health Organization

WHO is a specialized agency for health within the United Nations system with normative and coordinating functions. WHO is responsible for providing leadership on global health issues shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policies, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. One of the main goals of WHO is to ensure enjoyment of the highest attainable standards of health as one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.

In Kosovo since: 1998

WHO Disaster Preparedness and Response programme started in Kosovo in early 1998. A humanitarian assistance office was set up to monitor the public health situation of vulnerable groups. When the political situation escalated into a crisis in 1999, WHO was working as the leading agency in Kosovo coordinating emergency response. During 2000, WHO in close collaboration with local authorities and the UNMIK Department of Health and Social Welfare, coordinated activities of the health sector at central and local levels. WHO activities included regular health coordination meetings, health assessments, continuous monitoring of access of minority and vulnerable groups to the health care services, monitoring and situation analysis reports, timely publications of the “Kosovo Health Talks” and “Health Actions” bulletins, the “Family Doctor” bulletin and the provision of specific guidelines based on recognized international standards. In 2002, WHO moved to its traditional role as advisor to the local health authorities while also continuing to support the emergency health interventions and response when needed. Within the changing context, WHO has shifted from providing large-scale health humanitarian assistance to the vulnerable groups to assisting the authorities in health system rehabilitation and development.

WHO in Kosovo is continuously supporting a range of public health programmes:

  • Supporting the development of key health policy and strategic documents on public health and, in particular: health policy and planning, primary care and family medicine, maternal and child health, mental health, communicable and noncommunicable disease, expanded program of immunization, health promoting schools, environmental health, and developing health programmes and building capacity of the health system;
  • Strengthening the public health system to develop an efficient early warning system (EWARN) for communicable disease surveillance, prevention, control and outbreak response, contributing to the development of communicable disease activities in the framework of the Stability Pact and building the ground for the implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005);
  • Providing technical assistance to implement cost-effective and affordable measures to reduce modifiable risk factors and leading implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
  • Supporting Kosovo Health Institutions in developing and implementing policies and strategies including integrated management of childhood illness and adapting/adopting implementation guidelines and tools for preventing child deaths.
  • Supporting and strengthening KOS capacity in the adaptation and implementation of guidelines and tools in line with the post-2015 global strategy, current national strategic plans and national health reform.
  • Facilitating multisectoral collaboration between public health, animal health, agriculture and environment sectors.
  • Providing day to day technical support on TB/HIV and Hepatitis C Program in Kosovo.
  • Providing technical support to the health authorities on identifying and prioritization of the risk using WHO tool “STAR”
  • Providing technical support in developing Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan and designing the contingency plans for three priority hazards (Floods, Food and Water Borne Diseases and Haemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome)
  • Supporting Kosovo institutions to implement the STEPS survey. The results of survey will provide information on current situation related to the major risk factors and will improve the decision-making process in addressing the NCD risk factors through the multisectoral actions.
  • Facilitating work on the EPHO’s self-assessment, under the leadership of the IPH in close cooperation with WHO office in Pristina and DSP/PHS in WHO EURO. Facilitating the Finalization Phase of the EPHO’s Self-Assessment Process in Kosovo.

Contact in Kosovo:

Dr Sergy Koryak, Liaison Officer, WHO Pristina Office
Tel: +383 (0) 38 549 216/218/219
Fax: +383 (0) 38 549 217
Address: Institute of Public Health, Pristina, 10 000
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