Real lives











Kyrgyzstan’s top doctors work around the clock in hospitals in the affected areas to save children from diarrhea

© UNICEF / Pedersen / 2010
Dr. Zemlyanuhina from Bishkek attends to Kochokorova Asema's 7-months old baby Aida in the Osh Child Hospital after the training is over.

OSH, Kyrgyzstan - August 25, 2010. The lives of children in the south of Kyrgyzstan which suffered from recent civil strife are under another threat – diarrhea. The overall stress in the region and problems emerging after the crisis have left families vulnerable to the leading child killer in Kyrgyzstan. Cases of the illness are now on the rise.

With support from UNICEF, Kyrgyzstan’s top doctors, including the Chief Pediatrician, have been working non-stop in the local hospitals.  Over the past month they have spent most days and nights training local doctors to use new treatments on children with severe cases of diarrhea.

“There are many cases which are complicated by anemia and dehydration. Fortunately we can treat them with new drugs, use new materials and apply new knowledge and skills that we learned from our colleagues from Bishkek” said Nizami Aliev, pediatrician from the Provincial Children’s Hospital in Osh. 

It is the first training in five years for staff at the family medical centres and hospitals. The new know-how, drugs and materials brought by UNICEF are now in the hands of 2,600 trained doctors and nurses, to help them save children’s lives.

“Moreover children eat corn porridge enriched with vitamins and minerals ‘UNIMIX’. When they leave the hospital we give vitamin and mineral powder, “Gulazyk” which also contains iron, vitamin A and zinc to protect children from anemia. We have these supplements now, thanks to the prompt response from UNICEF” says Nizami Aliev.

© UNICEF / Pedersen / 2010
Mothers thank doctors in the Osh Child Hospital for saving their children from diarrhea

The overall enthusiasm of medical workers also encourages mothers who have experienced a change in the treatment of their children overnight. Kochokorova Asema will soon be able to return home with her seven month old baby Aida.  Ten days ago her small baby nearly died from the diarrhea.

“I know now that if the child has a high temperature and stomach problems, I must go to the doctors straightaway. I am so thankful to our local doctors and doctors from Bishkek.” she says.

For the trainers the three weeks passed quickly, and were not long enough though to solve all the problems. “We cannot sleep much. But we forget about this when we see what we are doing is helping children” says Zemlyanuhina, the trainer from Bishkek.

The joy of a saved young life brightens their tired eyes and helps to renew their energy. Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Russian, Tatar and doctors of other ethnicity unite to combat the savage child killer. Doctors don’t even notice how they switch between languages:  Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Russian, just to get the message through and make it comfortable for children and their mothers. Civil tensions which still divide the community vanish inside the walls of the hospital.  As the doctors work to save lives, they are perhaps also helping to rebuild bridges within their local community.

For more information, please contact:

Galina Solodunova
Communication Officer
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
Chui 160, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic
Phone: +996 312 61-12-11 (Ext. 143)



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