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UNFPA and the Fund for Mandatory Health Care Insurance (FMHCI) entered a partnership to protect the health of the older persons from COVID-19 infection and respond to their immediate needs for care. Based on and in executing the orders issued by the Fund, pharmacies that have a contract with FMHCI, in cooperation with the employees of the Primary Care health care centers enable delivery of medicines at home for patients with chronic diseases and lonely patients over 65 years old. The doctor communicates by phone, SMS, WhatsApp, etc., provides patient's prescription code and a family member picks up the medicine at the respective pharmacy or it is delivered at home by a staff of the health center / pharmacy or volunteers. The Regional Directorates of FSDKSH provide the list of names of patients over 65 years of age and information on pharmacies where the patient has executed the latest prescriptions with reimbursement. The safety perimeter and protection measures between the patients and providers of this service is strictly observed during the delivery process.

For lonely older persons, the medicine is delivered at home, as this age group is not allowed to go out at all in the Covid-19 situation.

UNFPA has supported the whole process of developing informative brochures, posters with instructions for 1,000 pharmacies & pharmaceutical depos, 420 health centers and 1,500 family doctors & primary health care staff, as well as an online campaign.

The number of pharmaceutical entities contracted with the Fund is about 1000, including: pharmacies, pharmaceutical agencies, import and distribution depos, hospital pharmacies, as well as pharmacies of IECO (institutions of execution of the criminal offense).

While in 420 primary health care centers all over Albania, there are ca. 1,500 health care providers, family doctors and nurses.

These informative materials, together with the online campaign aim at informing key primary health care personnel on protective measures they should take at work environment and as individuals to protect themselves and their patients. They also aim at informing the public, especially older persons over 65 yrs. and those who have chronic diseases, on how to take personal protective measures and what and where to turn for assistance to receive regular health care services in emergency situations like this.

UNFPA will continue to support and ensure that health care services are provided regularly to women, girls, young people and the older persons, and that health care providers are protected and enabled to provide such services.