Issue no. 10: PHC in Albania in COVID-19 context

COVID-19 cases in Dibra and Fier districts

During the last week (as of May 29th) there were new cases with COVID-19 infection in both districts, 6 cases in Diber district and 4 cases in Fier district respectively. The corresponding LHCU staffs are conducting the epidemiological investigation through tracking contact persons while primary health care professionals are monitoring the health status of infected and isolated persons at home.

Instructions from the health authorities

  • In the specialties polyclinics of both districts the consultations to the specialist doctors have resumed in accordance with the order issued earlier by the Central Directorate of the Operator of Health Care Services. In this context, family physicians are provided with the guide “On referrals to the specialists in the period of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic”.
  • The Regional Directorate of IFCHC in Dibra district continues to conduct trainings in small groups for family physicians regarding the electronic registration of patient consultations. In this context, HAP has supported the family physicians of some health centers by providing the logistical part

HAP support

For five weeks in a row, HAP has published answers to frequent questions made about COVID-19 in the form of training-information materials for health personnel and the public.

This week HAP shall launch the publication of training materials on the impact on the mental health of the public and health employees of COVID-19 epidemic.

Cooperation at local level

A successful history of cooperation at local level comes this time from Bulqiza where, amongst others, an agreement for inter-institutional cooperation was signed between the Municipality, LHCU and the Education Office from the first days of pandemics. The aim of the agreement was to take hygienic-sanitary measures to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases and COVID-19 infection in preschools, kindergartens, nurseries and other educational institutions. We spoke to Mr. Flamur Meta, director of Bulqiza LHCU, who tells us also about other aspects of cooperation in Bulqiza “We have cooperated with the state police, the municipal police, we organized joint groups, including LHCU staff, to monitor the implementation of the quarantine rules by the citizens and the application of the hygiene and social distancing criteria for state and private entities that provided public services in the community during the quarantine.”

Considering that the delivery of medicines at homes for chronic patients has been one of the features of the provided service, Mr. Meta emphasizes the cooperation of the Municipality of Bulqiza with the emergency groups set up in each administrative unit, where, together with the health centers staff, it is possible to deliver reimbursable drugs to 2918 chronic patients.

Additionally, Mr. Meta tells us how the collaboration with HAP has been of help: “Health for All Project has previously provided training for health promotion activities and has supported us in several HP activities and this has been of great help for us while delivering COVID-19 public awareness activities. We are currently working with HAP toward the accreditation of several health centers in Bulqiza and I can say that this experience is very useful especially in terms of organizing the work and drafting protocols that have in focus infection prevention and control that is of crucial importance in the actual COVID-19 context”.