Fifth issue: PHC in ALbania in COVID-19 context


The Health for All project is trying to provide personal protective equipment for primary health care teams and Local Health Care Units. To this purpose, the call for public tender has been published, to be found HERE

New training materials related to the wearing and removal of personal protective equipment (focusing on Local Health Care Units teams) and frequently asked questions about COVID-19 infection (for health professionals and the general public) have been published on the HAP official website. Please visit the link HERE

Fortunately, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Diber district. In addition to field work to monitor cases suspected with COVID-19 in collaboration with epidemiologists of the respective LHCU, as well as delivery at home of medicines, primary health care teams enable medical services according to the CPC package, adapted to COVID-19 conditions.

To thank them and all primary care health professionals for their work and commitment, we invite you to watch the video featuring doctors and nurses from primary health centers in Diber qark.

Facing COVID-19: testimonies from health professionals

Dr. Artemis Haxhaj is a young family physician who has joined the team of the health center no. 3 in Fier, where 32 professionals serve a population of about 30,000 inhabitants. He and the HC team are monitoring the health conditions of the residents in the active COVID-19 infection sites in the area covered by the health center no. 3.

Dr. Artemis, how did you get notified of the first COVID-19 cases in your area?

One of the patients came to the health center and judging by the symptoms described by the patient (fever, cough), we suspected of coronavirus infection and contacted the epidemiologists at Fier LHCU, who took the tests. With regard to the other case, we were notified by Fier LHCU after the patient was taken to the hospital where the test was carried out.

How do you proceed when there is a case suspected with COVID-19 infection?

If during the telephone triage, based on the triage file of the National Medical Emergency Center, we suspect that the person may be infected with COVID-19, we inform him to stay at home and notify the epidemiologists at Fier LHCU to make the test. If the test response is negative, but there are still doubts, then a lung scan is conducted at Fier Hospital to determine whether the patient is infected with COVID-19.

What is the procedure in the event of people infected with COVID-19?

The notification for COVID-19 infected patients comes from the Local Health Care Unit. After receiving the data, we contact the patient by phone to initiate the monitoring of his health condition, which we do every day by phone. During such monitoring, when we evaluate the deterioration of the condition, we contact the National Emergency or LHCU and the patient is transported to the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Tirana.

Also, we take the list of the contacts of the patient infected with COVID-19 and ask them to isolate themselves and we monitor their health condition. If one of the contacts has any symptoms of COVID-19 infection, we communicate with the LHCU to make the test.

How is the health of persons suspected/infected with COVID-19 specifically monitored?

We take care to make telephone consultations twice a day with all persons suspected or infected with COVID-19 isolated at home. We ask them about the temperature, symptoms such as cough, difficulty breathing or other health problems. We also request a list of contact persons and perform the triage for COVID-19 with each of them.

What is the most common challenge you face?

Undoubtedly, the biggest challenge we face is the awareness of the public to stay in quarantine as often people are not convinced of the reasons for quarantine, especially when they have no complaints. Also, they are afraid that due to the isolation they may lose their jobs and to solve this issue we have communicated with the relevant employers who have guaranteed the salary even during the isolation period.