Fourth issue: PHC in Albania in COVID-19 context newsletter

Support for coping with COVID-19

  • A new contribution of USD 700,000 from three international donors is added to the 54 respirators already provided by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection. A joint partnership agreement was virtually signed on April 10, 2020 between the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, the Swiss Embassy (through the Health for All Project), the Royal Norwegian Embassy for Albania, and the United Nations Development Program in Albania (UNDP), which emphasizes the support to the  health authorities in Albania to combat COVID-19 through the purchase of 30 respirators. This contribution complements the commitment of the Albanian government to increase its capacities and provide a sufficient number of life-saving machines for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in intensive care. For more information please click HERE

The map of COVID-19 in Fier region is being expanded

During this week there have been new cases of COVID-19 infection in the district of Fier, including primary care health personnel. Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 42 cases have been identified in this district, of which 23 have been recovered (as of April 16, 2020).

Telephone consultation of family physicians

Following the instruction of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, family physicians in both districts where HAP works are conducting telephone consultations with confirmed/suspected cases of COVID-19 patients isolated at home, as well as with chronic patients and acute cases. Watch the video

Training materials for PHC teams

  • In the framework of training materials for primary health care teams, HAP is continuing the work for the preparation of other materials in response to the requests received from the heads of the health centers of Fier and Diber districts. Visit the session, HERE

Adaptation of PHC services: statements of professionals

Patos was the first town in the Fier district where the first COVID-19 cases appeared. Following the measures taken by the local government and the work of the health center, there have been no new cases in Patos for several weeks. Dr. Albiona Lamaj, Family Physician and Director of Patos HC tells us how the service was re-organized in this health center through telephone consultations and planning of consults*, avoiding the gathering of persons and observing the social distance for the inevitable consultations in the premises of the HC in order to prevent the corona virus infection:

“We drafted an internal regulation according to which doctors issued prescriptions for chronic patients 1-2 days before the date and distributed the prescription codes over the phone. In cases of families with only elderly, we cooperated with the municipality to enable the delivery of medicines at home.

Regarding acute cases, we tried to carry out several the consultations over the phone. In cases of patients who should definitely come to the center, we prepared a room at the emergency premises and each doctor visits his patient in this room. After the patient leaves, the room is disinfected.

With regard to the children’s consultation, the vaccines were not canceled even for a single day. We notified the mothers to come after 10.30 am and the children were accompanied only by one family member and they were vaccinated in turns.

Let me underline that if we have previously considered impossible the planning of consultations, this experience has shown us that planning is feasible and it requires only good will. In this extraordinary situation where we are, we saw that the planning of consultations protects both, us and the patients, and it is very necessary, especially in relation to the consultation of children and chronically ill patients. ”- Dr. Albiona Lamaj, Family Physician and Director of Patos HC


* Earlier, HAP promoted the importance and encouraged primary health care teams to implement consultation planning which has a direct impact on the quality of medical consultation provided in the health center facilities. HAP shared with HC managers the experience of planning consults of the PHC in Bosnia, following a study visit by a group of family physicians and nurses in May 2018