Tuesday, 07, July, 2020

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) today handed over medical supplies to the Agency of Sanitary Epidemiological Wellbeing of Uzbekistan to assist the country in fighting COVID-19.

“Government of Uzbekistan allocated significant resources to fight the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, we must confront the problem together with the leading international organizations,” said Mr. Bakhodir Yusupaliev, Director, Agency of Sanitary Epidemiological Wellbeing of Uzbekistan. “In this regard, assistance of ADB and UNICEF in strengthening the health system will help to ensure the safety of medical personnel and prevent the spread of coronavirus infection among the population.”

To respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, ADB allocated $1.56 million in grant to procure medical equipment, personal protective equipment, and laboratory supplies in Uzbekistan. UNICEF managed the procurement and delivery of laboratory supplies that will be used in COVID-19 testing, as a first tranche of the grant.

“Fighting COVID-19 is a marathon. We are pleased to partner with UNICEF to provide some critically needs supplies for medical workers,” said ADB Country Director for Uzbekistan, Ms. Cindy Malvicini. “I am particularly glad that the supplies we are handing over today were procured in Uzbekistan. ADB will continue to support the country’s healthcare system.”

Subsequent tranches of the ADB grant will be used for portable pulse oximeters and oxygen concentrators for COVID-19 patients, and protective garments and masks for medical workers. Although most COVID-19 cases have been mild in Uzbekistan, about 15% of cases require oxygen therapy as a cost-effective intervention. This is the mainstay of supportive therapy in severe respiratory infections, especially in absence of any specific treatment.

Procured medical equipment laboratory supplies and personal protection equipment will be distributed to all regions of Uzbekistan including remote areas.

“This is an extraordinary emergency that demands an extraordinary response, and we need to join our efforts,” said Mr. Sascha Graumann, Representative, UNICEF Uzbekistan. “UNICEF is pleased to collaborate with the Government and international organizations to strengthen health, water and sanitation systems and help in protection of population COVID-19 impact,” he added.

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