Visit of the WHO Regional Office for Europe Represented by its Director Hans Kluge


As part of the World Health Organizations shared commitment to global health, peace and security, WHO Regional Director Dr. Hans Henri led a delegation for a one-day visit to reaffirm and increase cooperation for the mutual benefit of the Czech Republic and the wider-scale European Union, which holds considerable promise.

Visit of the WHO Regional Office for Europe Represented by its Director Hans Kluge

The Regional Director with his counterpart, the Czech Minister of Health, jointly signed a two-year plan that envisions deeper cooperation in priority areas that will enable the creation of a resilient network. Director Kluge also took part in a study visit at the refugee assistance centre in Prague to learn how best the city adequately welcomes newcomers from Ukraine and provides them with transparent services that are most crucial during these times. Continuing on this momentum, the Director saw the processes and procedures in place, saw the work of Red Cross and was very impressed by the level of services.

The visit also came at a time where the COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented and swift change to the everyday citizens of the world over the last two years – but nevertheless, Director Kluge was able to see and highlight the dedication stemming from the brave health professionals who continue on this leadership momentum in helping take care of the new arrivals from Ukraine.

Mr. Kluge has shown the utmost confidence in the City of Prague and most importantly the Czech Republic in stating that "the Czech Republic has taken decisive steps to ensure that every citizen receives affordable and quality healthcare. This is evidenced by the country's position as a regional leader in ensuring equitable access to healthcare and protecting against inappropriate payments for healthcare." On the other hand the Minister of Health, Dr. Vlastimil Válek expressed his confidence in achieving the joint ambitions by emphasizing “I am very pleased with the collaboration with WHO and the signing of the joint Ministry of Health/WHO two-year plan. The Ministry is also looking ahead towards our Presidency. Our main priorities will be oncology, rare diseases, vaccination, combating misinformation on health issues and building on the work of our French colleagues. I am very pleased that we have found a consensus on helping Ukrainian citizens, because this situation deserves unity so that we can effectively help where it is most needed."

The focal point of the visit was a bilateral meeting with Mayor Hřib and Councillor Johnová which was well received. The discussions took place in the context of the Czech Republic’s continued effort to foster meaningful and impactful partnerships with the World Health Organization. Zdeněk Hřib, Mayor of the City of Prague, took with great appreciation the visit and by stating the current humanitarian crisis in stating, "I appreciate the attention WHO is paying to the capital city of Prague at this time. Some 88,000 people have already arrived in Prague and the Central Bohemian Region, which are considered to be connected vessels, fleeing their homes from the war. I consider setting up an effective system for integrating people who need our help into the Czech health system to be a key part of their successful adaptation."

Over the past month, over 300,000 Ukrainian refugees have been welcomed into Prague. The City of Prague will continue to be a global champion for human rights and creating an inclusive and dynamic health integration environment for all. The City of Prague looks forward to providing greater transparency and efficiency.

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