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Turkmenistan

Background


Click for a detailed map (PDF)

This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.

Immunization rates in Turkmenistan for the most common childhood diseases are 97 per cent or above, and universal salt iodization has made Turkmenistan the first country in Central Asia to achieve optimum iodine nutrition. More than half of Turkmenistan’s maternity hospitals are certified as “Baby-Friendly,” accounting for about 60 per cent of all deliveries. But only 55 per cent of the population has access to safe drinking water; in rural areas, the number is 24 per cent. 

Issues facing children in Turkmenistan

  • Acute respiratory infections and diarrhoea are the leading causes of infant mortality.

  • Hospitals lack sufficient obstetric supplies and emergency medicines.

  • Less than half of young people know how to avoid HIV infection.

  • Because teenagers are expected to help with agricultural work, the school year is only 150 days long. The curriculum is unique to Turkmenistan, and omits or gives short shrift to basic core subjects.

  • Enrolment in universities has declined from 40,000 in the 1990s to 3,000 in 2004. Contributing to this drop is a requirement that students work for two years before attending college. (Turkmenistan’s high unemployment rate makes this prerequisite particularly onerous.) All education degrees obtained abroad since 1993 have been nullified. 

Activities and results for children

  • The success of the universal salt iodization programme is already benefiting other nutritional campaigns like flour fortification, which now takes place in 17 of Turkmenistan’s 18 largest mills. 

  • Iron and folic-acid supplements have been distributed to more than 700,000 women, children and teenage girls.

  • UNICEF helped introduce life-skills health education into dozens of schools, giving 40,000 children and young people the information they need to protect themselves against HIV/AIDS.

  • UNICEF and its partners have trained thousands of parents and caregivers in basic early childhood development practices like health, nutrition, hygiene and child protection.

  • The president has publicly asked local governors to stop the use of child labour in picking cotton (although no one has yet been punished for violating the law). 

  • The government has announced a goal of 100 per cent access to safe drinking water by 2020.

  • UNICEF and its partners focused attention on child rights through a nationwide campaign to observe Universal Children’s Day (20 November).


 

 

Basic Indicators

Under-5 mortality rank

52

Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 1990

90

Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 2012

53

U5MR by sex 2012, male

60

U5MR by sex 2012, female

45

Infant mortality rate (under 1), 1990

72

Infant mortality rate (under 1), 2012

45

Neonatal mortality rate 2012

22

Total population (thousands) 2012

5172.9

Annual no. of births (thousands) 2012

111.3

Annual no. of under-5 deaths (thousands) 2012

6

GNI per capita (US$) 2012

5550

Life expectancy at birth (years) 2012

65.3

Total adult literacy rate (%) 2008-2012*

99.6

Primary school net enrolment ratio (%) 2008-2011*

Definitions and data sources [popup]

Source: The State of the World's Children

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