Huge health improvement project sees three and a half thousand medical professionals trained in life saving skills.
TASHKENT 7 July 2008 officials from UNICEF, the EU and Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Health met today to mark a year’s progress in getting quality care to mothers and children. By December 2010, 13,000 health professionals will be trained in improved maternal and child care. One year in, three thousand five hundred of these are already sharing their skills throughout the country.
“I’ve seen it with my own eyes. This project is doing good, helping mothers and families,” said William Hanna, Head of Unit for Centralised Operations for Asia and Central Asia at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid, “it’s an excellent example of what we can do when we work together and it’s a great example of how the EU is helping people and development. People at home should know the good work the EU is doing here – and I’ll be taking the message back to Brussels with me”
The Improvement of Mother and Child Health Services (IMCHS) project in Uzbekistan was launched in July 2008 with a total budget of almost $6 million, of which the EU provided $5.5 million and UNICEF $450,000.
Today’s meeting, chaired by Prof’ Kamilov, Deputy Minister of Health, evaluated progress to date and charted a course for the future.
The 3,500 medical professionals trained to date are now fully capable of sharing the latest practices in emergency newborn care and childcare in maternity wards, polyclinics and primary healthcare facilities.
12 of the 17 planned training centre’s are already equipped with new kit for quality care.
Dr Hari Krishna Banskota, UNICEF’s project manager, noted the project’s key achievements and challenges so far. “The offer of training and materials was met with overwhelming demand” he said. “So we’re now upping the numbers for training modules from 14,000 to 19,000 sets.”
Partners reaffirmed their determination to see the project through. “Our work already spans half of the country and fits well in the national health reform programme, yet much more needs doing to bring more systemic changes into effect” said Andro Shilakadze, UNICEF’s Deputy Representative in Uzbekistan.
Bringing modern standards on clinical practice into University medical curricula and creating a unified certification system for medical institutes and practitioners are some of the remaining challenges to overcome.
Prof’ Kamilov, Deputy Minister of Health, called for further cooperation. “We shouldn’t stop at 2010 – if projects such as this continue it will bring Uzbekistan closer to meeting the Millenium Development Goals.”
New training centre opened
To coincide with the one year review Mr William Hanna of the EC’s Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid recently opened a new training centre in Samarkand.
Mr Hanna was pleased to note the quality of leadership from the Ministry of Health and met with Doctors and project leaders on the ground.
Quality care reaches remote communities
In the Eastern region of Andijian staff are being trained in newborn resuscitation, essential newborn care, the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding and effective growth development monitoring