In health sphere the Republic of Azerbaijan cooperates mainly with the World Health Organization (WHO).

WHO was established on April 7, 1948. This organization has 192 members. The main bodies of the organization are the Word Health Assembly, Executive Board and Secretariat. Secretariat is headed by Secretary General. At present the Secretary General of WHO is Margaret Chan (was elected in 2006). The Secretariat of WHO is located in Geneva.

WHO cooperates with member-states through its regional offices. Organization has 6 offices:

1. Regional office on Africa - headquarter is in Brazzaville (Congo);

2. Regional office on Europe - headquarter is in Copenhagen (Denmark);

3. Regional office on South-Eastern Asia - headquarter is in Deli (India);

4. Regional office on America – headquarter is in Washington (USA);

5. Regional office on Eastern Mediterranean Sea basis - headquarter is in Cairo (Egypt);

6. Regional office on Western Pacific Ocean - headquarter is in Manila (Philippines).

Azerbaijan joined this organization on October 2, 1992. Azerbaijan cooperates with WHO through Regional Office for Europe. The head of European Regional Office Marc Danzon visited Azerbaijan in 2000 and 2004. Currently Zsuzsanna Jakab is a director of European Regional Office. The office of WHO was established in our country in 1994. The head of the office is Kamran Garahanov (since 2007).

During 58th meeting of the World Health Assembly (WHA) held on May 16-25, 2005 in Geneva Azerbaijan was elected to Executive Board of the organization from European region for the period of 2005-2008. 32 countries from 192 WHO members are represented in Executive Board.

On April 25-26, 2006 former Director General of WHO Dr. Lee Jong-wook visited Azerbaijan. During the visit Dr. Lee Jong-wook was received by the President and had meetings at the Cabinet of Ministers, Ministry of Health, Heydar Aliyev Foundation. The visit was focused on different health issues, as well as avian influenza, fight against tuberculosis, cooperation with WHO, reforms in health sector.

Azerbaijani delegation headed by the Minister of Health O.Shiraliyev participated at WHO Executive Board’s 119th session on November 6-8 and the first WHA emergency (special) meeting on November 9, 2006. As a result of the meetings Dr. Margaret Chan was elected as a Director General of WHO, after Dr. Lee’s unexpected death. Dr. Margaret Chan visited Azerbaijan on 30th of January – 1st of February of 2008.

During 62th meeting of the WHA held in Geneva on May 18-22, 2009 Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Azerbaijan and Regional Office for Europe for 2 years.

During 59th session of the WHO’s Regional Office for Europe held in Copenhagen on September 14-17, 2009 Azerbaijan was elected as a member to Standing Committee of the Office for the period of 2009-2012.

Azerbaijani delegation headed by the Minister of Health O.Shiraliyev participated at 63th meeting of the WHA held in Geneva on May 17-21, 2010.

The 17th session of UN’s European Economic Commission’s Committee on Environment Policy was held in Geneva on November 2-5, 2010. During the session 4 members, including Minister of Environment and National Resources of Azerbaijan, were elected to the newly formed European Ministerial Council on Environment and Health within WHO.

61 th session of the WHO’s Regional Office for Europe was held in Baku on September 12-15, 2011. The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan participated at the opening ceremony and addressed to participants.  

The third meeting of the European Ministerial Council on Environment and Health was organized in Baku on November 16, 2012 by the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources and the WHO.

Azerbaijani delegation headed by the Minister of Health O.Shiraliyev participated at 132nd meeting of the WHO’s Executive Board held in Geneva on January 21-29, 2013.

WHO has been implemented series of projects in Azerbaijan. They are following:

1. DOTs (Directly Observed Treatment-short course) project – The project provides implementation of short-term medical courses of tuberculosis under the direct doctor control. In the framework of this project, T.B. prophylactic centers in Baki, Naxchivan, Lenkaran, Xachmaz, Gandja, Sumqait, Sabirabad, Sheki and Mingechevir receive humanitarian assistance as medicaments against tuberculosis, roentgen apparatuses, microscopes and other equipment. Series of NGOs also joined this project.

2. MECACAR – the program on elimination of poliomyelitis. This wide-ranging program has been implementing in Azerbaijan since 1995. UNICEF has also joined this program.

3. CARAK – the program on women and children protection.

4. The program on diphtheria observation – in the framework of this program, it is caring out training courses for medical staff of different districts of Azerbaijan.

5. The program on family planning – Gandja and Sumqait were chosen for implementing of this program.

6. The program on mental disease - in the framework of this program, different kinds of psychotropic are brought as humanitarian assistance in our country. The Ministry of Health sends this relief to Guba and other districts which were chosen as pilot districts. 

7. South Caucuses Health Information Project - the project aims to help the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Azerbaijan to reconstruct and develop its own Health Information System.

UN’s special reporter on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health visited Azerbaijan visited Azerbaijan on May 16-23, 2012. Special reporter will present his report on Azerbaijan during the 23rd session of UN’s Human Rights Council. 

Besides WHO, Azerbaijan actively cooperates on health issues with different expert committees of the Council of Europe, ECO and BSEC.

During the 10th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization held on March 11, 2009 in Tehran President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev proposed to organize the first conference of ECO ministers for health in Baku. The conference was held in Baku on February 4-5, 2010.

The 3rd meeting of the Heads of Blood Transfusion Organizations/Authorities of ECO member states was held in Baku on February 14-15, 2013.

Within the project entitled “Development of the activities related to donation and transplantation: Cooperation between countries of the Black Sea Area (BSA project)”of the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and Healthcare expert group visited Azerbaijan on April 15-17, 2012.

Grant Treaty was signed with the Global Fund on struggle against AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis for funding of the first 2 years of 5 year program entitled “Strengthening the struggle against AIDS/IIV in Azerbaijan” on April 21, 2005.

After the avian influenza was founded in Azerbaijan the Ministry of Foreign Affairs actively cooperated with different international organizations, such as EU, WHO, UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, as well as with several countries on bilateral basis in struggle with that disease.

Azerbaijan cooperates with many countries in bilateral level, it also has made financial and humanitarian aid to some developing countries to fight against different diseases. Thus WHO made an initiative of helping to OIC countries to fight against poliomyelitis, and Azerbaijan as a chair country of OIC responded positively and as a result of request made by the MFA the Government of Azerbaijan decided to allocate 20 000 AZN in 2007 and in the framework of WHO Global initiative on fight against poliomyelitis in Nigeria and Afghanistan 20 000 USD was allocated by Azerbaijan in 2008. It should be noted that in Azerbaijan poliomyelitis was totally abolished in 1996.

Updated: 26.02.2013