Inside Uzbekistan’s COVID-19 Emergency Operations Center
On March 11 WHO declared the then novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic. Uzbekistan recorded its first case on March 15, 2020, just two days after neighboring Kazakhstan reported the first case in the region. Photo by Hamdam Sharakhmedov/Golden Minds.
Preparations to improve Uzbekistan’s ability to respond to public health emergencies were under way before COVID-19 arrived. With support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Uzbekistan’s government and Ministry of Health (MOH) were already in the process of building a public health emergency management (PHEM) program to respond to public health emergencies. Photo by Haqyor Haydarov/U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan.
“As we grew to understand this virus, it really became more about figuring out how we were going to work together with health officials in Uzbekistan,” said Dr. Daniel Singer, CDC’s Central Asia director at the time. “It was important for us to understand what capabilities Uzbekistan already had in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 so we could determine how to best assist them.” Photo by Hamdam Sharakhmedov/Golden Minds.
On October 14, 2020, Singer and his team recommended opening a public health emergency operations center. Six months later, the Government of Uzbekistan officially opened its Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC). Photo by Hamdam Sharakhmedov/Golden Minds.
U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan Daniel Rosenblum and First Deputy Minister of Health, Director of the Agency for Sanitary and Epidemiological Wellbeing of Uzbekistan, Bakhodir Yussupaliev, led the launch of Uzbekistan’s PHEOC. Photo by Haqyor Haydarov/U.S.Embassy in Uzbekistan.
Ambassador Rosenblum and representatives from Uzbekistan know the importance for countries to establish a PHEM program to help countries lead public health responses. This investment will help the county be better prepared for the next public health emergency. Photo by Hamdam Sharakhmedov/Golden Minds.
Public health specialists work on Uzbekistan’s COVID-19 response in the new PHEOC. The CDC team in Uzbekistan trained the national PHEOC core staff in and will continue training staff in health departments throughout the country. Photo by Hamdam Sharakhmedov/Golden Minds.