UNDP, KOICA and Soros Foundation expand the general public health service through 118 hotline

June 9, 2022
Hotline 118 equipment hand over ceremony at Ministry of Health

Hotline 118 equipment hand over ceremony at Ministry of Health

Meerim Ruslanbekova

Bishkek, 9 June 2022 – Today United Nations Development Programme, Korean International Cooperation Agency, Soros Foundation-Kyrgyzstan handed over new equipment to Hotline 118 for a total of 1.9 million soms to improve the quality of work and geographical expansion throughout the country. Now, the service, which has provided assistance to hundreds of thousands of Kyrgyzstanis during the COVID -19 pandemic, will operate in all regions of the country and provide first medical advice by phone.

Comprehensive assistance includes the complete re-equipment of the 118 hotline service with the necessary equipment (computer equipment, monitors, wi-fi routers, smartphones, licensed software, multifunctional devices, etc.), as well as providing consulting support in the preparation of a team of specialists and in the systematization of work, including training, monitoring and process support. In addition, international donors allocate funds to support the payroll of 15 operators (7 operators in the regions and 8 in Bishkek) until the end of 2022. If necessary, additional operators will be involved.

During the most active waves of the pandemic, one of critical challenges for people in Kyrgyzstan was to obtain high-quality health information of COVID-19. An emergency hotline was sustained with the support of UNDP in 2021 during the spikes of COVID-19 in the country. In December 2021, UNDP and KOICA signed a cooperation agreement to further establish, strengthen and integrate emergency response hotline 118 on health issues.

The acting Minister of Health Zharkynbek Kasymbekov noted: “We must always be ready for any challenge. Hotline 118 will continue to expand and develop in order to provide timely assistance for the benefit of the population.”

In turn, Vice Mayor of Bishkek Victoria Mozgacheva added: “Hotline 118 will operate on the basis of our family medicine centers and provide assistance by phone, making significant contribution to the health care system by reducing the burden on family doctors and ambulances.”

We aim to improve access to high-qulity information on COVID-19 for the general publc in safe and effective manner. The 118 hotline serves as a tool to combat not only COVID-19 but also other types of diseases that the general public seasonally might face, especially in vulnerable times and reaching the most vulnerable layers of population,” ­– said Erkinbek Kasybekov, UNDP Assistant Resident Representative.

As Kiyoun Kim, Programme Coordinator of KOICA Office in the Kyrgyz Republic mentions: “KOICA has expanded our support for the partnering organizations to share Korea’s experience of responding to COVID-19 through various initiatives. Indeed, we are grateful to be a part of this partnership hope our effort could tackle the inequalities deepened by the pandemic and support the vulnerable groups in the Kyrgyz Republic”.

For the allocated financial assistance by our partners from UNDP and KOICA, we held a tender among suppliers and found the best conditions, which resulted in significant money savings,” says Shamil Ibragimov, Director of Soros Foundation–Kyrgyzstan, “thus, we were able to purchase 6 additional sets of equipment, which will allow us to work in all 7 regions of the country, as well as in Bishkek.”

After the launch of all services of the "Hotline 118", the residents of Kyrgyzstan will have access to more advanced advisory assistance, including:

  • Reception of appeals / calls from citizens coming to the PHC organization through the "Hot Line 118", Internet connection or sent by mail;
  • Registration of appeals / calls of citizens in an electronic journal in the database of the Bitrix system;
  • Provision of information requested from patients regarding COVID-19 and other diseases (hypertension, diseases of the cardiovascular system, endocrine diseases, infectious diseases and measures for safe behavior), other primary consultation on somatic diseases, collection of epidemiological anamnesis according to the established form, filling out an electronic questionnaire , providing working information on family doctors and the schedule of their work;
  • Conducting an online rapid clinical assessment of the patient's condition and transferring information to a mobile team or family doctor who decide the tactics of managing the patient: leave the patient in self-isolation, send a mobile team or a specialist, depending on the reason for the appeal;
  • Ensuring control over the timely consideration of applications for the departure of mobile teams, etc.


Contacts for the media:

Ainagul Abdrakhmanova, Communications Officer at +996775755776