11th CA Maternal & Child Health Forum, Turkmenistan, 8-9 April 2008
Health ministers and nutrition experts will discuss maternal and child nutrition issues in Central Asia, and the needed interventions to tackle these issues, in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, 8-9 April 2008.
Turkmenistan is hosting the Central Asia Maternal and Child Health Forum which will be held from 8 to 9 April in Ashgabat. More than 100 participants including health officials of the five Central Asian countries, namely, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, international health experts and representatives of donor agencies and the UN in Central Asia have been invited to attend the Forum.
First held in 1997 in Almaty, Kazakhstan, the Forum has served as a common platform for governments in Central Asia to exchange knowledge and experiences in addressing health issues related to the survival, development and protection of children and the well-being of women. The Forum has also created opportunities for discussion of health innovations and options that Central Asian governments could adopt to improve existing health care systems and facilities. Over the course of its 10-year existence, the Forum has contributed to keeping maternal and child health high on the agenda of health reforms that have been ongoing in each country.
This year’s Forum focuses on maternal and child nutrition and HIV and AIDS. Each country will review the progress made in improving the nutrition status of children and women in Central Asia and the strategies and initiatives that made this progress possible. The Uzbek health delegation will present the National Nutrition Plan. Delegation from Kyrgyzstan will present about the results of a community nutrition initiative supported to improve nutrition status of children and women in rural areas. Host country Turkmenistan will focus on fortification of food with iron and folic acid.
Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan will focus on nosocomial or hospital-acquired HIV infection among children which has been observed in recent years. Both countries will present the lessons learned from experience in containing HIV infection in a hospital setting, highlighting the fact that prevention and treatment of HIV cannot be achieved without strengthening health systems and ensuring quality care for children and women with HIV and AIDS.
At the end of the two-day Forum a resolution calling for scaling up of nutrition interventions to achieve Millennium Development Goals 1, 4 and 5 will be presented for adoption by participants.
For further information or interviews, please contact:
Gulyalek Soltanova,Communication Officer, UNICEF Turkmenistan, Ashgabat
Ayadil Saparbekov, Health and Nutrition Specialitr, UNICEF Turkmenistan, Ashgabat