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EuropeAid Communication Award goes to Uzbekistan

© UNICEF Uzbekistan/2010/Pirozzi
Neonatologist Nigora Rusimuradova (second from the right side) shares new knowledge with her workmates

The joint project of UNICEF and the Ministry of Health of Uzbekistan on improving mother and child health care wins the EuropeAid Communication Award for Asia

Tashkent, 19 March 2010. - The Project for the Improvement of Mother and Child Health Services in Uzbekistan is a two and half year project launched in 2008 to improve the quality of health care for children and their mothers. The European Commission contributed 3,5 mln Euro to the project.

The Communication Award has been given in recognition of both its exemplary communication’s work and successes on the ground. 

A central feature of this project is the training of health workers at hospitals, maternities and primary health care facilities on newborn and child survival techniques. To date, more than 7,500 health professionals across Uzbekistan have upgraded their skills and knowledge and are able to provide better mother and child care. By introducing new practices and care methods, the project is contributing to the improvement of the health of young children and mothers in eight regions.

To ensure continuity, a pool of trainers was also created and 16 regional training centres were renovated and equipped. The work is under way to amend the curricula of eight medical institutions so that fresh graduates are familiar with and can apply modern international standards on child and maternal health care.  Strong commitment of the Ministry of Health to introduce changes at the policy and service delivery levels is yet another factor contributing to the success of the project.

“Our attitude towards a baby has changed. We feel more confident when come across difficult cases. We know that it is in our hands to save a newborn,” says Nigora Rusimuradova, head of the Neonatal Resuscitation Department from Samarkand maternity # 3. She is one of the many beneficiaries of the project, who has also been certified as a trainer.

The partnership of the Government of Uzbekistan, UNICEF and EU in the health sector has brought positive results in improving the quality of child and maternal health care. It marked  a big breakthrough in advancing the government’s health sector reform agenda that focuses on the strengthening of the primary health care system.

The partnership also paved the way for policy changes in such areas of the maternal and child health system as the adoption of international live birth definition (ILBD), nationwide revision of the medical curriculum system, introduction of the quality assurance system and institutionalization of the certification process.

For the EuropeAid Communication Award 2009, 15 projects on the issues ranging from environment to education and childcare were presented in the Asia category.  The communications portfolio of the Uzbekistan’s project included two videos, a website, leaflets and other publications geared for various target groups. The project got into a short list after the online voting of two thousand EU staffers. The final round, which took place offline at the EU Headquarters in Brussels, has brought it 53% winning votes.

The EuropeAid Communications Award was presented to Francesco Buscaglia, Programme Manager  for Centralized Operations for Asia and Central Asia of the European Commission’s  EuropeAid Co-operation Office  at a special ceremony held at the EU Headquarters. 



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