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RKI/EMT/GOARN Mission to Kosovo (21 September – 03 October 2020)

Left: Training for COVID-19 respiratory therapy; Right: Press statements in front of the National Institute of Public Health of Kosovo, Pristina (Source: RKI)Left: Training for COVID-19 respiratory therapy; Right: Press statements in front of the National Institute of Public Health of Kosovo, Pristina Source: RKI

Following a request by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, a joint RKI/EMT/GOARN mission was deployed to Kosovo from 21 September until 03 October 2020 to support the country in the fight against COVID-19. The RKI-led mission, which was organized in close co-operation with WHO and the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN), comprised of a delegation of RKI specialists in epidemiology/surveillance, risk communication, and laboratory diagnostics from ZIG 1, ZIG 2, ZIG 4 and Department 3, as well as an Emergency Medical Team (EMT) providing clinical and IPC support coordinated by the team of the National Focal Point for Emergency Medical Teams (EMT NFP), located at ZIG 3.

This was the first time a joint EMT was deployed with experts from the three classified German EMT organisations humedica, I.S.A.R. Germany and Johanniter-Auslandshilfe. The team was complemented by medical experts from the Charité Faculty of Medicine, the Hamburg-Eppendorf Medical Centre and the Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) Joint Medical Service. ZIG staff from the EMT NFP provided the Team Lead and Logistics Support of the 17-member EMT.

EMT visiting a local hospital (Source: Dr. Gezim Kumoviku)EMT visiting a local hospital Source: Dr. Gezim Kumoviku

During the mission, which was led by Dr. Andreas Jansen, head of ZIG 1, the RKI delegation met the Minister of Health and a number of high level representatives of Kosovo’s healthcare system in Pristina and in the regional capitals to exchange knowledge and experiences and advise in the fields of surveillance, epidemiology, risk communication and laboratory diagnostics. Meanwhile, the EMT assessed 11 hospitals in Pristina and 8 regions and provided training in infection prevention and control (IPC), ICU treatment, invasive and non-invasive ventilation, respiratory therapy as well as mobilization and positioning of patients. Furthermore, a RKI GOARN representative performed the assessment, implementation and monitoring of the Go.Data field data collection platform in the country. A scoping mission for the possible deployment of a mobile laboratory was also integrated in the 2-week mission, which concluded by the issuing of comprehensive recommendations for the COVID-19 preparedness and response in Kosovo.

Date: 18.12.2020