Nationwide effort to enhance mother and child healthcare launched in Uzbekistan
TASHKENT, 22 November 2012 – Today the Ministry of Health, UNICEF and the European Commission officially launched a new joint initiative to enhance health prospects for all mothers and children across the country through advanced health sector reform and improved quality of care and health-seeking practices among families and communities.
An agreement on the project was signed between the Ministry of Health, UNICEF and the European Union (EU) in July this year. It marked a continuation of the successful and strong partnership between these three parties in implementing of the innovative “Improvement of Mother and Child Health Services” funded by the EU from 2008 to 2011.
Implemented in eight regions of Uzbekistan, that project represented a radical change in approach to and quality of healthcare services. It brought scalable and cost-effective solutions to providing equitable access to health services for mothers and children. In the framework of the project, over 17,000 healthcare providers upgraded their skills and knowledge through 17 established training centres. But more importantly, it gave compelling evidence that an integrated package of newborn and child survival interventions along the continuum of care from pre-pregnancy to childhood can significantly reduce neonatal morbidity and mortality, thus bringing the country closer to attaining Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5.
IMCHS Phase II comes at a strategic time when close to a 100 governments, including the Government of Uzbekistan, and a multitude of partners from the private sector, civil society, and faith-based organizations joined the Call for Action ‘Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed’.
Mr Norbert Jousten – Ambassador, Head of the European Union Delegation to Uzbekistan said that “this second phase of the project confirms the commitment of the EU to support human development in Uzbekistan, with special emphasis on woman and children. We are confident that the choice of UNICEF as implementing agency is a good one that will obtain the expected result."
This project will now be implemented across the entire country over the course of three years and benefit more than 13,000 of healthcare professionals, nurses, health managers, medical and nursing students and their teachers. In turn, an estimated population of 15.5 million people residing in rural areas, including 3.5 million children under-five years of age, will benefit from their improved capacity to provide high quality services.
It focuses on the following three inter-linked components that are essential for long-term and sustainable results:
"Through this project, our priority is not only to ensure that every mother and child across the country has access to essential healthcare services, but that families are engaged in positive household practices through parenting education”, stressed Mr. Jean-Michel Delmotte, UNICEF Representative. “We are confident that the new joint initiative will contribute to advancing health system reforms and strengthening coordination in the maternal and child health area," he added.
The programme is valued at 7,190,000 EURO out of which European Union contribution consists of 6,700,000 EURO, including 1,700,000 EURO of equipment for selected perinatal centres and maternities of the country.
For more information, please contact:
Ministry of Health