All programmes and activities of the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society (AzRC) are aligned with and contribute to the IFRC`s Strategy 2020 aiming to improve the lives and to alleviate the sufferings of the most vulnerable people.
In view of the achievements of the Azerbaijan Red Crescent on the road of structural and professional development, the IFRC Secretariat and the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society have agreed that the local office of the IFRC Secretariat is closed with effect from 1 January 2014. From that day, the overall coordination of the humanitarian assistance and the capacity-building support to the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society is done under the supervision of the Head of Country Cluster of the Europe Zone Office of the IFRC Secretariat in accordance with the approved plans and budgets.
During the reporting period two projects were supported by donors via the IFRC Secretariat, and several projects were implemented bilaterally. The IFRC funding was allocated for two components, namely non-remunerated blood donor recruitment and tuberculosis prevention and treatment. The other two components were implemented either in integration with similar AzRC projects or on a small scale from the AzRC`s own funds.
In the Health and Care Programme the Azeri National Society reached people through training sessions, promotion of healthy life style and awareness raising, harm reduction, blood donors’ recruitment campaigns, and visits to people living with Multi Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR TB).
It should be underlined that the funding for tuberculosis prevention and treatment and the non-remunerated blood donor recruitment (Club-25 Initiative) components was allocated from October-November 2012. The implementation of the tuberculosis component has been continued financially till the end of October 2014, without a break. The financial implementation of the non-remunerated blood donor recruitment component (Club-25 Initiative) was finalized at the end of January 2013.
From February 2013, the AzRC carried out activities from its own funds. Later on, the activities were resumed for the next period from September 2013 till the end of the year, and in 2014 financial support was given for the period March-December 2014.
The non-remunerated blood donor recruitment component is carried out to promote voluntary blood donation initiatives, attract blood donors and support the increase of blood component reserves within the country. The existing funding allowed, both due to donor support and the AzRC
s own funds, to carry out a couple of trainings among the newly selected volunteers, update the knowledge of the already involved local branch staff and volunteers in Baku and regions, organize blood donor recruitment campaigns devoted to the 95th anniversary of the establishment of the National Society, the World Haemophilia and Talassemia Days and World Blood Donor Day and distribute some promotion materials. “Clubs 25” were established in two front-line regions (with 6 members in each club). Volunteers and members from the AzRCs local branches and members of previously and the newly established “Clubs 25” actively supported the organization of the mentioned events, carried out sessions on healthy lifestyle and promoted the idea of becoming blood donors, distributed brochures among staff and volunteers, the general public, and local communities. The National Society is a member of the Blood Working Group along with other government and non-government partners. The AzRC was among those organizations, which participated at the International Blood Donors Conference in Morocco.
The funding for tuberculosis prevention and treatment allocated since October-November 2012 by the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation1 for a 2 year period has allowed continuing activities in 2014. The project is aimed to improve adherence to treatment regimens by most vulnerable continuation-phase MDR-TB patients, provide home-based, direct observation of treatment (DOTS+) and to underpin this with psychological, social and educational support for patients and their families2. The implementation of the project went according to the adopted work plan and budget with relevant updates based on the evolving situation. The National Society trained nurses who carried out home visits and direct observation of MDR-TB treatment (DOTS+) with second level drugs, accompanied patients to dispensaries for monthly check-ups to see their progress and agree on further steps in the project implementation process. The patients and their family members were also provided with physiological consultations. By its own initiative and within the local branches` own funds, the AzRC provided patients with food parcels on a quarterly basis. The AzRC marked 24 March, World TB Day, by making presentation on TB related activities.
In 2014, the Azerbaijan Red Crescent launched a new project called Road Safety. The proposed project aims at promoting road safety, the prevention of injuries and deaths from road crashes in Azerbaijan through targeted education on road safety and teaching relevant first aid skills to schoolchildren, their parents and teachers, students at higher-level educational institutions as well as the general population. The National Society established cooperation with domestic and foreign partner organizations like the local NGO “Hayat International”, various ministries, the National NGO Forum, the Public Health Reform Centre, WHO, IOM, Integration of the Azerbaijani Youth to Europe/AGAT and TRACECA with further focus on financial and technical support.
Due to the absence of IFRC-driven financial support, the other two components, namely Community–Based First Aid and Harm Reduction, were carried out from the National Society`s own funds, via ICRC and Austrian Red Cross projects and with the active participation of volunteers.