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First Czech-Azerbaijani addiction medicine conference in Baku

On 10-12 September 2019, the Republican Narcological Center of the Republic of Azerbaijan in cooperation with the Department of Addictology of the 1st Faculty of Medicine/General Faculty Hospital at the Charles University in Prague organized a conference on Substitution Therapy, Harm Reduction and Rehabilitation for People Suffering of Substance Abuse in Baku, with about 50 Azerbaijani narcologists and psychiatrists in attendance. The organization of the event was financially supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic in the framework of a small scale development cooperation project focused at supporting the establishment of a knowledge-based infrastructure in the field of substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation in Azerbaijan.

Speakers at the conference included Dr. Vladimír Kmoch from the Charles University Department of Addictology and several Azerbaijani narcologists, including Sona Xudaverdiyeva from the Republican Narcological Center and Fizzə Baxışova from Baku City Narcological Dispensary, both of whom conducted a study trip to the Department of Addictology and other specialized medical institutions in Prague in August 2019. Besides the conference venues, Dr. Kmoch held discussions with Azerbaijani specialists at their places of work, including the Mental Health Center in Baku, the First Psychiatric Hospital of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Baku City Narcological Dispensary which, along with the Republican Narcological Center, the Republican AIDS Center in Baku and a center in Sumqayıt, serves as one of the four points in Azerbaijan where methadone is dispensed to patients registered in a specialized substitution program.

By supporting the small scale project implemented by the Republican Narcological Center, the Czech Republic aims at tackling issues faced by the Azerbaijani narcological service, including lack of international experience, Continuing Medical Education programs and relevant education materials. Besides the exchange of experts between the Czech Republic and Azerbaijan, translation of the textbook „Principles of Addiction Medicine: The Essentials“ by the American Society of Addiction Medicine into Azerbaijani language and its publication is financed from the project. This way, the Czech Republic contributes to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals by Azerbaijan – in particular, Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-Being) which includes strengthening the prevention and treatment of substance abuse.

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First Czech-Azerbaijani addiction medicine conference in Baku