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Introduction of early intervention services in Turkmenistan to ensure optimal development of children

© UNICEF Turkmenistan/2015/Dankov

“Children are our future and early childhood development is their future,” said Professor Ilgi Ertem, the world renowned expert in developmental paediatrics from Ankara University visiting Turkmenistan this week in the framework of the partnership between the Government of Turkmenistan, UNICEF, the Government of Turkey, and the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA). 

Professor Ilgi Ertem and her team have been working with Turkmenistan’s specialists since 2011 to introduce the developmental paediatrics concept in the country and contribute to establishing the system of early intervention services for children. A team of experts, who have worked with Turkmenistan childcare specialists throughout this week, provided a series of recommendations that will help the country to introduce comprehensive early intervention services. These services will contribute to an enabling environment for optimal development of young children, especially those who have developmental challenges.

Among the recommendations are the adoption of a transdisciplinary approach in addressing developmental difficulties of children; introduction of the first internationally developed method to monitor child development called the “International Guide for Monitoring Child Development (GMCD); development of a few models and ensuring their quality services for further scale up throughout the country.     

At the high level round table meeting today, opened by the Deputy Minister of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan, Deputy Minister of Education of Turkmenistan, Ambassador of the Turkish Republic in Turkmenistan, TIKA Representative and UNICEF Representative, national and international experts in early childhood development summarized the results of the joint work and future strategies to achieve the set goals.

“Evidence shows that the first three years of life are the most critical to children’s optimal development and determines their future. Establishing early intervention services in Turkmenistan will allow families and childcare practitioners to monitor children’s development from the start and enable them to reach their fullest potential,” said Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov, UNICEF Representative in Turkmenistan. “I look forward to increased partnership with TIKA to support Turkmenistan’s child wellbeing agenda,” she added.

Participants, represented by the specialists of the health, education and social protection systems, highlighted the importance of human resource development and discussed about endorsing early intervention standards and procedures in Turkmenistan in line with the National Strategy on Mother, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (MNCAH) for 2015-2019 and its conceptual framework and an action plan for 2015-2020 on developmental paediatrics and early intervention services.


For more information, please contact:

Ms. Sachly Duman

UNICEF Health Officer



Ms. Gulyalek Soltanova

UNICEF Communication Officer

Tel: +99312 425682 (ext.318)

Fax: +99312 420830







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