Since Uzbekistan’s independence the healthcare system of the country has undergone significant changes. Preserving and strengthening health of population and raising a younger generation that is harmoniously developed, physically healthy and spiritually mature have become Government’s priority tasks.
At the initiative of country’s President Islam Karimov, year 2014 has been designated in Uzbekistan as the “Year of the Healthy Child”. It has been a logical continuation of a socially oriented public policy of the Government of Uzbekistan that had been clearly demonstrated in the names of previous years, including the “Year of the Mother and Child” (2001), “Year of Youth” (2008), “Year of the Harmoniously Developed Generation” (2010) and “Year of the Family” (2012).
A national “Year of Healthy Child” program was adopted. It consists of specific actions that cover all issues pertaining to the birth, raising and education of children, supporting a healthy environment in the family and its economic foundations, and enhancing the effectiveness of the funds allocated to the social sector. In reforming the healthcare system of Uzbekistan, the main focus is attached to the following issues:
-strengthening the performance of the healthcare system in providing quality medical services to country’s population;
-further improving quality of healthcare at the primary level and augmenting the capacity for human resources development;
-improving mother and child healthcare as well as services for pregnant women;
-preventing and managing non communicable diseases;
-improving the control and management of communicable diseases through better screening and immunization systems, etc.
In order to accomplish these goals an enormous amount of work has been done thus far and a number of programs have been implemented nationwide, including the “Healthy Mother--Healthy Child Program”.
Through the establishment of specialized medical centers and an extensive network of primary healthcare institutions, including rural health units, all citizens of Uzbekistan, especially women and children living in rural areas, have been given access to proper medical care. Over the past 10 years, more than $750 million have been invested to the modernization of medical institutions and equipping them with the latest technology.
Since independence maternal mortality has decreased by a factor of 3.1 and infant mortality has decreased by a factor of 3.2 in Uzbekistan. Thanks to the mother and child screening program, the number of children born with congenital abnormalities has decreased by a factor of 1.8 since 2000.
Today, 92 percent of Uzbek children meet the World Health Organization’s child growth standards. According to the ratings of the Save the Children Organization, Uzbekistan ranks among the top 10 countries in the world for children’s healthcare.
Currently one can see the level of development of the national healthcare system on the example of the newly organized system: Scientific Center of Emergency Health Care.
The most complicated surgeries are being performed nowadays at the Republican Scientific Center of Emergency Medicine, which has 13 territorial affiliations and 171 district level branches, about 80 ambulance stations and more than 200 emergency teams.
Sport is an integral element in raising a harmoniously developed young generation. A unique system has been set up to make sport more appealing to children and adolescents, especially girls, and to promote a healthy way of life. Modern sports centers are being created not only in cities but also in more remote areas.
During the period 2003-2013 more than 1800 sports facilities were commissioned that have supported the mass involvement of children in systematic sport activities and improved their health. Today in Uzbekistan more than 30 sports are regularly practiced by about 2 million children, including 842 thousands girls.
There are plans to upgrade the infrastructure of 130 cultural and leisure centers as well as to establish 15 new cultural and recreational parks, and modernize 29 existing facilities throughout the country. The implementation of a package of measures on further improving the conditions for birth of healthy children are being envisioned in 2014.
These measures include the construction and provision of complex medical equipment for a modern children’s multi-specialty centre (level IV), which would be the first such a facility in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States. This project is being implemented in close cooperation with Korea through EDCF’s loans.
In addition, the modernization of a number of specialized units, including of the Republican Scientific and Practical Centre for Pediatrics, the clinic of the Tashkent Pediatric Medical Institute, 13 provincial multi-specialty children’s medical centers, 62 district medical associations, and other medical and medical-social facilities have been planned.
They will all be equipped with modern diagnostic and therapeutic equipment to provide children with specialized and high-technology health care in a manner consistent with international standards.
All in all, the national Year of the Healthy Child Program aimed at implementing innovative measures to prepare children for school and support their full intellectual, moral, aesthetic and physical development.
As noted by President Islam Karimov, the attention and general concern shown for our children, the young generation, reflects above all Uzbekistan’s belief in tomorrow and is a sign of its overwhelming and fundamental respect for the people.
Successful implementation of the tasks set forth in the Year of the Healthy Child Program will be another important step by Uzbekistan along the path of far-reaching reform with the main purpose of protecting human rights and well-being of the people.
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