USAID Empowers Medical Professionals in Rural Georgia to Combat COVID

Speeches Shim

Friday, January 22, 2021
Doctor Lasha Tevzadze

USAID is partnering with UNICEF to provide Internet access to Georgia’s rural clinics, helping people like Dr. Lasha Tevzadze keep connected with their patients and access the latest information about combating COVID-19.

Meet Dr. Lasha Tevzadze, a family doctor in the village of Galavani in Mtskheta municipality. 

Dr. Lasha has a big responsibility: the Galavani clinic serves 12 villages. 

"I have been working here since 1997 as a family doctor. We, rural doctors, are like a family member to many people,” says Dr. Lasha. 

“We know everyone, we know their problems. Otherwise this relationship does not work. We fully justify our name - we are truly family doctors as we are raising whole generations.” 

Until recently, the local clinic did not have an Internet connection. Doctors used their own money to purchase mobile data to contact their patients. 

That changed in December, when the Galavani health clinic received a USAID-funded Internet connection. The connection was provided through a partnership between USAID and UNICEF that is providing Internet access to more than 1,000 rural clinics across Georgia.

According to Dr. Lasha, getting hooked up to the Internet has helped their work significantly: “Nowadays everything is electronic - the databases, the latest information on immunizations and other planned activities. New information on COVID-19 prevention and management is also shared via the Internet.”

USAID and UNICEF Partnering to Combat COVID in Georgia’s Communities

Dr. Lasha’s clinic in Galavani is just one of the more than 1,000 rural clinics receiving Internet access through USAID’s partnership with UNICEF. Once receiving Internet access, medical professionals in rural areas can reach their patients and receive up-to-date information about COVID-19 and other medical issues through an online information platform operated by the Emergency Coordination and Emergency Assistance Center of Georgia.

The program is funded by USAID through a partnership with UNICEF launched in June 2020 to support Georgia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The assistance covers the provision of hygiene and medical supplies to healthcare facilities as well as support for rapid response teams, case management, infection control, and strengthened public health communications. It is one of the many ways that USAID is helping the Georgian people combat COVID-19 through emergency assistance as well as support for public service provision, economic recovery, and community responses to the pandemic.

Last updated: January 25, 2021

Share This Page