Rahima Gabulova, MD, PhD
National CVD Prevention Coordinator for Azerbaijan
This report was prepared by:
- Rahima Gabulova, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Azerbaijan Medical University, Baku, Azerbaijan
- Nabil Seyidov, PhD, Azerbaijan Ministry of Health, Public Health and Reform Centre, Baku, Azerbaijan
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Health care structure
The Azerbaijan Healthcare system inherited the Soviet system and still remains highly centralised and hierarchical.
Health care services in Azerbaijan are divided into the following categories:
- facilities at the national level
- central authorities
- republican hospitals
- tertiary-level specialised scientific research institutes under the Ministry of Health
- local hospitals, district polyclinics, etc. owned by district and city departments, which are financially dependent on the local district health authorities or the village authorities
- parallel health services which are managed by some of the Ministries in addition to their main service
- the private sector which is completely independent, but licensed by the Ministry of Health
- Preventive and Rehabilitation outpatient and inpatient services are provided in the specialised rehabilitation centers, sanatoriums and rehabilitation departments.
According the WHO-recommended STEPS study covered the majority of districts in the country:
- the prevalence of tobacco use, both smoked and smokeless combined, was 24.0%
- 29.7% of all respondents reported ever consuming an alcoholic drink in their lives
- almost one in 5 individuals (19%) did not meet WHO recommendations on physical activity for health
- 34.8% of the population was overweight (BMI 25.0–29.9), and 20.6% were obese (BMI ≥30.0)
- The prevalence of arterial hypertension among was almost 30%
- The prevalence of diabetes mellitus for all respondents was 6.5%
- 12.5% had a raised total cholesterol level
In Azerbaijan the main actors in primary and secondary CV prevention are cardiologists, general practitioners and internal medicine specialists. Paediatricians and Public Health specialists are mainly involved in primary prevention programs at the country level.
Preventive measures delivered through the country can reduce all-cause mortality, particularly from CVD. In accordance with the Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases in the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2015-2020, medical examination of the population in different regions, additional medical examinations and treatment in the specialised medical institutions are being performed.
Patients after Myocardial Infarction (MI), Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI), Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) and stroke have their first rehabilitation consultation and treatment at the hospitals, then it continues after discharge. In some of the private hospitals patients are referred to Cardiac Rehabilitation departments, if available. Further rehabilitation programs are limited to only a few private hospitals after discharge.
Aims for the future
Our future plan is to expand indications of cardiac rehabilitation services including non-acute cardiovascular diseases, peripheral artery disease, neurovascular disease, and programs for primary prevention for the population with cardiovascular risk factors.
Note: The content of this article reflects the personal opinion of the author/s and is not necessarily the official position of the European Society of Cardiology.