“It is with great pleasure and pride that I take part, as a representative of the Polish government, in the inauguration of the medical mission, commissioned by the WHO and organised by the Polish Centre for International Aid with the support of the Polish Army,” said Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Paweł Jabłoński, while seeing off a team of 23 doctors, nurses and paramedics of the Polish Centre for International Aid (PCPM), who are to launch their medical mission in Tajikistan. For the next three weeks, the Polish medics will share their knowledge and experience in the fight against COVID-19.
Organised under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Polish mission will be transported by a military aircraft to Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe. The group is made up of the PCPM Emergency Medical Team and four WHO specialists. The flight of the Polish medics, during a time when almost all air links have been suspended would not be possible without the joint involvement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National Defence.
The PCPM Emergency Medical Team’s mission is to provide rapid response to natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies outside of Poland. In 2019, the team was certified by the WHO as Type 1 Emergency Medical Team. It is one of 29 teams of this type in the world and one of seven run by a non-governmental organisation.
Talking about the PCPM’s mission in Tajikistan, CEO of PCPM Dr Wojciech Wilk emphasised the intention to share knowledge on how to fight the disease with local medical personnel and to support the local healthcare system, in particular hospitals. Polish medics will support hospitals across Tajikistan.
The medical mission will be provided with personal protection equipment, allowing the team to work in wards for patients with COVID-19, as well as in the hot climate of the Fergana Valley and in regions in the Pamir Mountains.
“The support of the Polish medical mission to Tajikistan organised by the WHO is an expression of solidarity with developing countries and is part of Polish foreign policy, and developing assistance in particular, which forms its integral part,” noted Deputy Minister Paweł Jabłoński. “This is how we understand Polish, European and global solidarity and humanitarianism,” he added pointing out that this way Poland, as member of the European Union and the OECD, is carrying out its commitments with respect to the international community, resulting from its membership of these organisations. Currently, the fight against COVID-19 pandemic is a global priority.
Polish Aid is implemented through various efforts, including humanitarian and development projects, medical research (including research into vaccines), provision of medical supplies and disinfectants as well as the assistance of medical teams. Poland’s financial commitment amounts to close to PLN 500 million in total.
Despite obvious challenges at home connected with the pandemic, Poland remains determined to help those who are in greatest need, including the developing countries. So far, Polish medical teams have helped Italy, Kyrgyzstan and the US fight COVID-19. Furthermore, Poland sent medical equipment, personal protection equipment and disinfectants to countries such as Ukraine, Belarus, Spain and the Holy See.
MFA Press Office
Photo: Tymon Markowski/MFA