June 16, 2021–Today the Government of Uzbekistan officially launched a new unit within the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC). The establishment of the PHEOC was supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), working through two international partners, Integral Global Health (IGH), and the Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF).
The PHEOC will work to strengthen the MOH’s capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to public health risks and emergencies. The new unit will also help MOH and other governmental agencies improve communication, information management, mobilization, coordination, and collaboration with other partners during public health emergencies.
U.S. Embassy Ambassador Daniel Rosenblum visited the newly established unit during the official ceremony on June 16.
“The establishment of the Public Health Emergency Operations Center is a significant achievement and a testament to Uzbekistan’s commitment to protecting the health and lives of its citizens. It was our privilege to support the launch of the center and ultimately to help this country become even more effective at responding and preparing to public health crises,” said Ambassador Rosenblum.
CDC and Uzbekistan’s Services for Sanitary and Epidemiological Well-being started work on establishing the PHEOC in 2020. A team of experts developed a national legislative framework, built a road map for multi-stakeholder collaboration within the PHEOC, and trained a cohort of national specialists capable of operating the center.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic CDC has been supporting the Ministry of Health in Uzbekistan 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. The United States Government has provided more than $9 million in emergency COVID-19 assistance to Uzbekistan; of that, CDC has contributed $ 2.1 million.
CDC, the United States’ public health agency, has a long history of collaboration with governments in Central Asia on public health issues. The agency 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.