Belarus and Turkmenistan have close ties, which over the past decade have gained the level of strategic partnership not only in trade and economics, but also in the humanitarian sphere, including education, healthcare and science.
Since 2012 bilateral cooperation between the Belarusian State Medical University and the State Medical University of Turkmenistan has been carried out on the basis of the Agreement on Academic and Scientific Cooperation. Over the years of fruitful cooperation partner universities have held many joint events: scientific and practical conferences, internships, practical training of students, official visits, mutual consultations and exchange of experience on topical issues of healthcare and medical education. More than 400 students from Turkmenistan study at BSMU.
On May 8, 2020 the videoconference entitled "International cooperation of Turkmenistan in the field of healthcare" was held under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.
The main purpose of the videoconference was to promote international cooperation in the field of healthcare with reference to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to discuss the prospects of international cooperation in the field of healthcare modernization and training of highly qualified medical specialists.
The leadership and general staff of Ministries of Health, heads of diplomatic missions and international organizations, heads of medical universities of Belarus, Azerbaijan and Georgia, teachers and students, news media representatives were invited to participate in the videoconference.
Being the key partner of Turkmenistan in the field of medical education the Belarusian State Medical University also did not stand aside from this discussion.
Rector of the University Anatol V. Sikorski and Vice-Rector for International Relations Vasili V. Roudenok took part in the videoconference.
The participants emphasized that national health systems faced new challenges and now effective measures urgently need to be put in place where they matter to slow the spread of the COVID-19 and overcome crisis.
In his welcoming speech Rector of the University Anatol V. Sikorski put a high value on the efforts of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and the leadership of Turkmenistan to ensure the epidemiological well-being of the country's population. Anatol V. Sikorski expressed hope for an early resolution of the crisis and renewal of international cooperation in the field of medical education and healthcare in full force and effect.
Vice-Rector for International Relations Vasili V. Roudenok focused on strengthening international cooperation in the exchange of information and experience on methods how to stop the spread of coronavirus COVID-19, as well as the ways of treatment of patients with COVID-19 and ways of crisis management in all areas with reference to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Vasili V. Roudenok emphasized that the bilateral cooperation between the Belarusian State Medical University and the State Medical University of Turkmenistan has become sustainable, which opens up new opportunities for interaction between the two countries during this difficult period. Despite all the difficulties, the Belarusian State Medical University is ready to maintain working partnership with educational and healthcare institutions of Turkmenistan and provide educational services for Turkmen students.
At the end of the videoconference the participants noted that Turkmenistan, based on the recommendations of the World Health Organization and other international organizations, has achieved significant success in promoting its health policy. It was emphasized that the coronavirus COVID-19 is a global threat and the spread of infection may be stopped only through joint efforts.
Author and translation:
Varvara Boika, Head of the Department of International Relations
Photo: Dmitry Zelenkovsky as well as materials provided by the Embassy of Turkmenistan in the Republic of Belarus