The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC/CAR) has pledged $1.68 Million to support the government of Kazakhstan in managing the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak as part of a $6.8 Million package of assistance for Central Asia.
In partnership with the local governments, CDC’s offices in Central Asia will use these new funds to address the most urgent needs of the coronavirus pandemic. These include procurement of laboratory supplies and equipment for COVID-19 testing, organization of trainings for public health workers, technical assistance for border health activities, as well as help to develop and implement clinical protocols.
“We have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Central Asia since January and have offered technical assistance to all the governments in the region to support their outbreak response” said CDC Central Asia Director Dr. Daniel Singer. “These additional funds will allow us to further strengthen the measures taken by countries to slow the spread of the virus. Our assistance during this emergency builds on CDC’s long-standing regional work to control HIV and TB and prepare for influenza and other pandemic diseases. CDC investments to improve health security have laid the foundation to rapidly and effectively prepare for emerging threats, including the current coronavirus outbreak, and we feel our collaboration with the ministries of health is more important now than ever.”
CDC Central Asia has been supporting the ministries of health in Central Asia since the beginning of the outbreak by organizing trainings, and providing technical assistance on emergency operations, laboratory operations, infection prevention and control, screening at ports of entry, risk communication and community engagement, and disease surveillance. CDC has also been translating technical guidance documents published by leading international public health organizations into Russian for distribution. U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan William Moser stated, “This additional funding demonstrates our continued commitment to Kazakhstan to fight the spread of COVID-19, but even more important is the partnership in public health built over the past 25 years between the CDC and Kazakhstan which will continue long after we defeat the coronavirus.”
The CDC 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, Kyrgyzstan, 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.