The FINANCIAL — 140 health workers from across Georgia – front-line responders to the pandemic – received specialized training to effectively respond to COVID-19 cases and at the same time, ensure own safety and prevent further transmission. Ambulance doctors, nurses and emergency vehicle drivers were trained on Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for preventing and controlling infection during the transportation of patients with confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases. Trainings were conducted by the Emergency Situation Coordination and Urgent Assistance Center, within the framework of Solidarity for Health Initiative, implemented by WHO and funded by the EU.
Clear and practical, easy to remember instructions had been developed by project partners so that they could be quickly implemented by ambulance teams to ensure adequate support to the patients and at the same time, preventing further spread of infection. In addition, a special protocol had been developed for assessing the risk of infection among health workers exposed to COVID-19.
Ambulance Manager from Kaspi – Ilya Besalashvili said that patients often hide symptoms that indicate their infection, which increases the risks of infection for the medical personnel and especially, front-line responders. He said that this is why he keeps reminding his staff to always use personal protective equipment so that medical personnel do not become the cause of further spread of the virus. He also added that they found this training extremely useful, as it gives better insights on how doctors, nurses and drivers should operate to guarantee our safety of our families, patients, and their family members.
Trained doctors, in turn, shared information with their colleagues – over 7,000 medical specialists, village doctors, ambulance teams and resuscitators.
Vasil Davitashvili, Instructor, Training Center for Coordination of Action in Emergencies and Emergency Aid, said that when coronavirus broke out and the information on the virus was poor, the infection spread through the ambulance teams so quickly that they had to close services in some regions and it was a real nightmare. He also added that after that they had good knowledge and necessary personal protective equipment and there trainings ensure better prevention and increase their self-confidence.
WHO Representative in Georgia, Silviu Domente stated that during this post-crisis period, when epidemiological situation is relatively stable in Georgia, all efforts should be directed to ensure that the health system is well prepared in case of additional needs in the near future. He also mentioned that protecting health workers, people at the frontline, is of strategic importance, as these are individuals that make vital contribution to the fight against coronavirus and that they are happy to see that training participants, on top of theoretical knowledge, are able to practice skills of correct use of personal protective equipment.
During the first phase of Solidarity for Health Initiative, WHO’s and EU’s efforts were focused on responding to most stringent needs of the health system in relation to COVID-19 response and included delivery of a substantial cargo of PPEs (over 1.5 million items) for frontline health and laboratory workers, conducting a Behavioral Insight Study in the general population, and strengthening national capacities on enhanced surveillance and infection prevention and control. This assistance was part of a wider package of EU support for Georgia of over €400 million (almost GEL 1.5 billion) which includeed support to vulnerable groups and economic recovery. In total, the EU has committed over €15 billion globally to support partner countries combat COVID-19.
In July of 2020, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Georgia, Mr. UEHARA Tadaharu and Minister of Finance of Georgia, Mr. Ivane Matchavariani signed the Exchange of Notes between Japan and Georgia, for provision of medical equipment to Georgia. The Government of Japan provided medical equipment equivalent to 300 million yen or 2.8 million US dollars. Read more.
From the early days of the pandemic, as the EU took immediate measures to tackle the crisis, it was clear that the recovery would require a joint effort at EU level. EU leaders decided to work towards establishing a recovery fund and they agreed on the €750 billion recovery package to help the EU tackle the crisis caused by the pandemic. President of Georgia welcomed recovery package and sent a letter to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, calling the unanimous agreement on the stimulus package to help the EU tackle the crisis caused by the pandemic a historic decision.