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Second RKI Mission to the Republic of Uzbekistan to support clinical case management of patients with COVID-19 (29 October – 12 November 2020)

Arrival at Tashkent Airport (Photo credits: Timo Brandenburger)Arrival at Tashkent Airport.

The second RKI mission organized by the Centre for International Health Protection (ZIG) to the Republic of Uzbekistan took place on 29 October - 12 November 2020, intending to support Uzbek colleagues in clinical case management of patients with COVID-19. Furthermore, the expert team continued working closely with the Ministry of Health and its agencies to expand cooperation between the RKI and the Republic of Uzbekistan in public health. The primary objectives of the mission were threefold and focused on clinical case management, infection prevention and control, and discussing the implementation of a telemedicine project in the country. This was the second RKI mission to the country following the assessment visit in August 2020.

RKI experts from ZIG 1 and ZIG 3 coordinated and led the mission with support from specialists of the units FG14 and FG37 in the field of infection prevention and control (IPC). A group of external experts, including medical staff from Charité, Ernst von Bergmann Hospital, University Hospital Frankfurt, and University Hospital Düsseldorf supported the clinical pillar.

For two weeks, the RKI team regularly visited specialized COVID-19 treatment centres in Tashkent, Samarkand, and Bukhara. Team members joined ward rounds and participated in detailed discussions of selected cases with Uzbek colleagues. They also discussed the organization of triage areas and the implementation of IPC protocols in the treatment facilities. Clinical team members held a series of trainings in ventilation therapy and medication use in patients with COVID-19. To address the shortage of equipment for arterial blood analysis across the ICU treatment facilities, which was identified during the initial assessment visit, ZIG has procured and donated five blood gas analysers to two hospitals in Tashkent. The expert team has installed the devices and conducted relevant training to facilitate the proper use of the equipment.

During the second week of the mission, RKI and Charité team members held talks with the Ministry of Health on the possible introduction of telemedicine in the country and conducted a site visit to assess a possible venue for implementation of the project. A joint initiative between the RKI, Charité, and the Ministry of Health of Uzbekistan, it is intended to strengthen the clinical management of patients and web-based learning for healthcare workers in the country.

Date: 15.12.2020