The coronavirus pandemic has put health issues at the top of the international agenda. Depending on the epidemiological situation, each country has taken measures of varying severity to protect the population from a new infection. In developed countries with great scientific potential, pharmaceutical giants have entered the race to create vaccines and drugs for coronavirus.
Considering that this process is costly not only financially, but also timely, mankind, apparently, will have to adapt to the new reality, especially since the unfavorable environmental situation and other negative factors can give rise to other surprises.
Today there is a growing awareness that a hard lockdown and social isolation can have more negative consequences for the economy, welfare and health of people than the disease itself, the spread of which can be contained through preventive and restrictive measures while maintaining more or less normal life.
This is the path chosen by Turkmenistan, which from the very beginning of the pandemic focused on preventing the import and spread of the coronavirus. The complex of measures taken included: suspension of international traffic and restriction of entry into the territory of the state, reduction of mobility of the population and social contacts within the country, creation of a three-level preventive system of protection against infection, quarantine filters and disinfection facilities with disinfecting and fumigation installations at the border.
In the same row lies the creation of a stock of necessary medicines and personal protective equipment, mask regime, stimulation of health workers, strengthening of explanatory work, etc.
From the first days of the emergence of an infectious disease, Turkmen citizens who were in countries with a difficult epidemiological situation were delivered to their homeland by special flights.
In the international aspect, the emphasis is on mutual assistance and joint efforts with other states, WHO, promotion of medical diplomacy. The Government of Turkmenistan, together with the United Nations Resident Coordinator in the country and UN country agencies, prepared and approved the National Plan for Preparedness for Counteraction and Response of the Country to Acute Infectious Diseases, as well as the Plan of Operational Socio-Economic Measures in Turkmenistan to counter the coronavirus pandemic. For these purposes, $ 1billion is allocated from the state treasury.
The development of these documents and all preventive work is based on the standards and recommendations of the World Health Organization, cooperation with which has been intensified in various directions. This is the exchange of views on the current dangerous situation in the world and the ways out of it between the head of WHO and the President of Turkmenistan, and the organization of a visit of the WHO mission to the country to study the epidemiological situation in different regions and the readiness to effectively counter the spread of COVID-19, and training of local medical staff and provision of humanitarian aid.
According to media reports, WHO specialists trained over 400 representatives of the medical sector of Turkmenistan in the methods of treating coronavirus infection and practical aspects of COVID-19 surveillance. In July, the country’s medical institutions received humanitarian aid from WHO, including 320 thousand medical masks, 130 thousand respirators, over 88 thousand face shields, more than 18 thousand glasses and 12 thousand gowns.
Turkmenistan itself has actively participated in humanitarian cooperation in the context of a global pandemic. The country sent humanitarian aid to neighboring Iran and Afghanistan, and exchanged humanitarian supplies with Russia. As friendly assistance from the Republic of Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Turkey, Japan, China, Turkmenistan received medicines and medical supplies, equipment that was used to prevent diseases.
Along with measures to protect the country’s population from coronavirus infection, Turkmenistan continues systematic work to strengthen the material and technical base of health care, commissions new medical centers equipped with the most modern equipment, creates conditions for training Turkmen specialists in the largest research centers in the world, and for exchange of experience.
Taking into account the birth rate of children and the need to introduce new vaccines, it is planned to double the financial resources for the purchase of immunobiological drugs. Tasks have been set to organize work on the purchase of new high-quality vaccines against coronavirus infection, the production of protective masks, hygiene and disinfection products, and the creation of their reserve.
On October 10th, the Day of Healthcare Workers and the Medical Industry in Ashgabat, the International Burn Center and the Aesthetic Center were commissioned, which were awarded several international awards and certificates presented by medical scientists and representatives of prestigious universities in Europe for high technology and innovation, for quality and superiority.
Turkmenistan continues to develop a network of specialized medical centers, including a new hospital with a scientific and clinical center of physiology, designed to become a leading medical and prophylactic institution that investigates issues in the country’s arid zone. This Center will carry out work on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases that are common in Turkmenistan and the region, as well as clinical, educational, scientific and laboratory research to study the adverse impact of the Aral Sea environment on human health.
The advanced technologies of modern medicine are planned to be used in the Rehabilitation Center, the foundation of which is being laid. The center will specialize in the rehabilitation of patients with chronic diseases of the cardiovascular, nervous, endocrine, digestive, urinary systems, musculoskeletal system and other health problems, as well as postoperative patients and patients with complications after previous infections.
Despite the difficulties associated with the pandemic, specialized hospitals, health houses, diagnostic centers, sanatoriums, and medical industry enterprises are being built and put into operation in different parts of the country.
At a recent working meeting held by the President of Turkmenistan on monitoring the spread and prevention of infectious diseases, improving medical services for the population, it was noted that the construction of medical institutions is underway in the Ahal, Balkan and Dashoguz regions. It is planned to open the “Bagabat” sanatorium and Geoktepe infectious diseases hospital built on the territory of Ahal.
The significance of all these events and plans is especially growing against the background of the continuing complication of the epidemiological situation in the world and testifies to the effectiveness of the Turkmen model of response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the world. It significantly mitigated the negative impact on the overall socio-economic state of the country, whose GDP by the end of 2020 is expected to increase by 5.8%. And according to the draft State Budget for the coming year, the country’s GDP growth rate will be 6.2%.