The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has pledged $6.8 million to support the governments in Central Asia in managing the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, including $1.38 million for the Kyrgyz Republic.
CDC’s offices in Central Asia will use these new funds to address the most urgent needs and gaps in response that were identified in partnership with the local governments. In the Kyrgyz Republic they prioritized the procurement of laboratory supplies and equipment for COVID-19 testing, organization of trainings for public health workers, provision of technical assistance for border health screening, as well as development and implementation of clinical protocols. On May 7, 2020, CDC Regional Director Dr. Daniel Singer, Health Minister Dr. Sabizhan Abdikarimov, and Director of SES, Dr. Abdykardyr Zhoroev, participated in a Facebook live-streamed press conference hosted by U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic, Donald Lu. (Insert link to full recording of Facebook live stream).
“These funds will allow us to further strengthen the measures of the Kyrgyz government to slow the spread of the virus.” said CDC Central Asia Director Dr. Daniel Singer. CDC’s long-standing investments throughout Central Asia to improve health security for HIV, TB, and other pandemic diseases have laid foundations to rapidly and effectively prepare for emerging threats. Our strong collaboration with the Kyrgyz Ministry of Health is more important now than ever.”
Responding to the CDC announcement, Health Minister Dr. Sabizhan Abdikarimov stated that “continued cooperation with CDC in Central Asa will improve the Ministry’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The funds provided will be used for the purpose of increasing the capacity of health care organizations.”
“The Kyrgyz Republic is one of the countries that United States has prioritized for assistance to fight COVID-19 with donations of personal protective equipment, $913,000 from USAID, and now $1.3 million from CDC. This is a reflection that the United States sees that the Kyrgyz government has taken effective steps to fight the spread of this global pandemic,” remarked U.S. Ambassador Donald Lu.
CDC Central Asia has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and supporting the ministries of health in Central Asia since the beginning of the outbreak by providing trainings and technical assistance on emergency operations, laboratory operations, infection prevention and control, screening at ports of entry, risk communication and community engagement, and disease surveillance. They provide technical guidance documents from leading international public health organizations into Russian for distribution among healthcare workers. The CDC will collaborate with the Kyrgyz Ministry of Health to finalize the project plan for the COVID-19 funding including training, procuring laboratory supplies, and equipment for health screening at ports of entry.
CDC, the United States’ leading public health agency, has a long history of collaboration with governments in Central Asia on public health issues. CDC opened its first office in Almaty in 1995 and today it has offices in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. CDC works with each Ministry of Health to strengthen local laboratory, disease surveillance, and workforce capacity so that the countries can better prevent, detect and respond to disease outbreaks.