Strict control of infection safety in medical services and other procedures is necessary — Alikhan Smailov on HIV prevention

At the Government session chaired by Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov considered the current situation with human immunodeficiency virus and discussed measures for the provision of appropriate medical care.

As reported by the Minister of Healthcare Azhar Giniyat, HIV remains a pressing problem not only in Kazakhstan but also in the world. So, for the last 10 years, the morbidity rate in the country has doubled, while the mortality rate of acquired immune deficiency syndrome has decreased 1.7 times.

Medical care for infected people is provided from the level of primary health care and by 20 HIV prevention centers. At the same time, systematic measures are taken to increase accessibility of relevant services: innovative methods of testing and treatment are provided, the list of drugs within the guaranteed volume of free medical care is expanded from 12 to 16 names, 12 prevention programs are introduced in accordance with WHO recommendations, the scope of information and educational work is expanded. 

The Minister noted that HIV infection in Kazakhstan is at a concentrated stage of 0.3%, while the global average is 0.7%. For today, the Road Map on counteraction to HIV for 2023-2026 years has been approved, which includes measures on prevention, diagnostics and treatment of the disease, development of specialized non-governmental organizations, improvement of human resources, etc.

Head of the Government stressed that human immunodeficiency virus remains one of the most significant problems of global public health. At the same time it has a stable growth trend throughout the world.

"Kazakhstan is no exception. Over the past 10 years, our disease incidence has almost doubled. Last year about 4 thousand new infections were diagnosed. Now there are over 30 thousand people living in the country with this infection. More than half of them are young people of working age," Alikhan Smailov said. 

He added that scientists have not yet developed a method that would completely defeat this virus. Therefore, it poses a serious threat.

"It is very important to apply preventive measures, conduct a lot of explanatory work. Those who are ill should be provided with quality treatment in accordance with international standards. Moreover, all carriers of the virus should be under strict medical supervision," the Prime Minister said. 

According to Alikhan Smailov, last year in the republic only 7 non-governmental organizations were involved in social projects related to immunodeficiency virus patients. 

"This is very little. It is necessary to expand the number of social grants and orders to involve NGOs in working with infected and at-risk groups. We need to raise people's awareness about the disease, the ways of infection and complications. Recently, unfortunately, such work has noticeably deteriorated. Many people have lost wariness about the danger of infection," he said.

According to the Head of Government, however, it is necessary to improve the public attitude towards people living with immunodeficiency virus. In this regard, the Ministries of Health and Information, together with the akimats, were instructed to strengthen outreach work among the population through informational materials, videos, and social networks.

"Sanitary and epidemiological services need strict control of infection safety when providing the population both medical services and other procedures where there are risks of infection," Alikhan Smailov concluded.

#Alikhan Smailov #The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan #Healthcare

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