Delegation of the European Union to Georgia

European Union and WHO deliver ventilators and protective equipment to COVID-19 hospitals in Georgia

17/02/2021 - 11:56
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Today, Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, Ekaterine Tikaradze, EU Ambassador to Georgia, Carl Hartzell, Head of the WHO country office in Georgia, Silviu Domente, and Head of the EIB Regional Representation for the South Caucasus, Maciej Czura visited N. Kipshidze Central University Clinic of Tbilisi State Medical University (former Republican Hospital) to hand over 10 ventilators and 1 000 items of protective equipment for the treatment and care of patients with severe cases of COVID-19.

This shipment is a part of the large support provided jointly by the European Union and WHO, which has already provided substantial medical supplies across the region, including more than 1.8 million items of personal protective and medical equipment, such as isolation gowns, protective goggles, oxygen concentrators, medical masks, respirators delivered to Georgia. A series of trainings for the healthcare workers and awareness raising events for the general public related to COVID-19 have been conducted in Georgia as a part of the initiative. The aim of the initiative is to ensure an effective response to the current COVID-19 crisis and strengthen overall preparedness capacities of health sector in Georgia. 

The visit comes a week after the announcement of a new EU-WHO initiative to support the effective roll out of vaccination in Georgia once vaccines arrive. 

"Today we once again clearly see how much support Georgia is receiving from the European Union and the World Health Organization. Today we additionally received ventilators, protective gowns, gloves. This partnership with the EU started from the first day of the COVID pandemic and it is noteworthy that through this close cooperation, Georgia has been able to successfully deal with all the difficult processes. I would like to express my gratitude for this support and for this partnership," said Ekaterine Tikaradze, Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia.

„Very happy to hand over today this necessary equipment to assist treatment of those most in need through our joint programme with WHO.  This is sign of the solidarity of the EU with Georgians, and part of the GEL 1.5 billion support we are providing to Georgia to overcome COVID-19.  I take this opportunity to also welcome the recent allocation of vaccines to Georgia under the EU supported COVAX facility, and our recently announced cooperation with WHO to work with the Government to ensure that these vaccines are implemented as effectively as possible.  The EU stands by Georgia though this pandemic and will do so until we can together overcome these challenges and return to normal life,” noted Carl Hartzell, EU Ambassador to Georgia. 

“The COVID-19 vaccines give us a big hope, but until they are available in sufficient quantities, we should continue our efforts in reducing the transmission of the virus and saving lives, including through strengthening capacities of Intensive Care Units managing critical patients and protecting the health workers,” – says Dr. Silviu Domente, WHO Representative and Head of WHO Country Office in Georgia.

“The EU bank supports Georgia’s healthcare system during COVID-19 pandemic. EIB has provided EUR 100 million loan to Georgia, guaranteed by the European Union, to support modernization of seven major hospitals in the country and to cover the procurement of essential COVID-19 related equipment. The loan is covering also procurement of vaccines, and establishing an effective supply chain to provide comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services for COVID-19 patients. As a part of Team Europe, EIB provided EUR 400 million of financing, guaranteed by the European Fund for Sustainable Development, to support the participation of low and middle income economies in COVAX Advance Market Commitment,” said Maciej Czura, Head of the EIB Regional Representation for the South Caucasus.

This assistance is part of a wider support package provided by the EU and Team Europe consisting of GEL 1.5 billion of new and reallocated assistance to help Georgia deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, including support to vulnerable groups and economic recovery. That is one of the highest levels of EU assistance per capita to any country in the world and demonstrates the EU’s strong solidarity with Georgia at this time of unprecedented crisis.

Part of this support is provided through the EU-WHO Solidarity for Health Initiative, through which today’s donation of ventilators and personal protective equipment is provided, and which in 2020 has:

  • Provided 40 000 isolation gowns; 20 000 protective goggles; 5 000 face shields; 1 082 000 medical masks; 328 000 respirators; 316 00 medical gloves and 29 oxygen concentrators to hospitals and primary healthcare facilities across Georgia;
  • Conducted assessment of Infection Prevention and Control capacities in designated hospitals and behavior insight studies among population;
  • Trained primary healthcare personnel, new and existing epidemiologists and lab specialists;
  • Trained high risk groups, including truck drivers and agrarian market vendors on prevention measure.
  • Trained 50 primary health-care professionals in Tbilisi and Batumi in delivering mental health-care services.
  • Seroprevalence study analysed 6 200 samples in Tbilisi and Rustavi to look for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in the population.

In addition, the EU and Team Europe – including the European Commission, the European Investment Bank and Member States – are some of the strongest supporters of the COVAX, through which Georgia will receive its first vaccines.  The EU and Team Europe have so far announced contributions of more than €870 million to the facility.

Additional information on the initiatives can be found here:

  • Find out more on the assistance provided by the EU to Georgia in the time of COVID-19 pandemic here
  • For more information on the recently announced EU-WHO Initiative to support the vaccination roll out, please visit here.
  • To learn more about the EU-WHO Solidarity for Health Initiative please visit the here.
  • Find out more about the EU bank (EIB) contribution to support the healthcare sector in Georgia here.
  • Stay updated via the interactive dashboards on the latest COVID-19 statistics WHO HQ; WHO/Europe; these provide real-time, in-depth information on the situation.

 

For further information, contact:

Tamar Mikadze, Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, Tamriko.Mikadze@eeas.europa.eu

Tamar Kvaratskhelia, WHO, kvaratskheliat@who.int

 

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