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Year of Healthy Child

23.04.2014

HEALTH BUILT IN CHILDHOOD 
Uzbekistan has entered the Year of the Healthy Child. The government is getting prepared to approve a national program with the priority to medicine, primarily to the services is charge of maternal and child health as fundamentals in strengthening the nation’s gene pool. As Last years’ initiatives will undoubtedly be the platform for the implementation of a new range of measures. Much has been done, and good progress has been made, but there is still much to accomplish, reports Uzbekistan Today News Agency. 

Integrated approach 

From the first years of independence, Uzbekistan has chosen an integrated approach to the development of maternal and child health protection services. The country undertakes the measures to advance its preventive healthcare, which is crucial in the prevention and early detection of diseases. Through the expansion of the network of rural medical units, building their human and material capacity, Uzbekistan has managed to bring professional medical assistance closer to the people living in the remotest and inaccessible areas. The emphasis is laid on high-tech specialized assistance, for nowadays it contributes much to growing healthy children who keep abreast their peers. 

Domestic health system successfully addresses complicated and unusual situations. It is appropriate to mention the sensational story of 2006, when surgeons of Vahidov Republican Specialized Center of Surgery successfully separated Siamese twins - brothers Kamiljanovs. Today, the saved Husan attends school in his native land - Hazorasp district of Khorazm region - one of the country’s most distant settlements from Tashkent. Teachers rank the boy as one of the best and most successful students. 

Thanks to a well-coordinated work of the entire healthcare system, one of the brothers was saved. This is the success of all health levels starting from the general practitioner and specialist of obstetric regional complex, who monitored pregnancy and childbirth, and finishing with the leading specialists of the Republican Center, who successfully completed a 16-hour operation on separation of the twins together with their Russian colleagues. Specialists of numerous rehabilitation centers and country’s top resorts helped to nurse and rehabilitate the ‘non-standard’ patient. 

Farseeing and competent approach to the development of health yields the anticipated results. Infant and maternal mortality in Uzbekistan has reduced almost thrice over the past twenty years. It took eleven years to reduce the birth rate of children with congenital and severe hereditary diseases 1.6 times. At the same time, there is a good progress in the further reduction of new cases of many infectious and other diseases. 

Priority to prevention 

As President Islam Karimov stressed in his report at the grand meeting occasioned to the 21st anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, medical culture of the population, especially of parents, is crucial in upbringing a healthy child. As proposed by the President, the State Program the Year of the Healthy Child will focus on intensified and extensive outreach aimed at raising the medical culture. 

It is appropriate to note that the work is diversified. Monthly health weeks for women, children and adolescent girls contribute to raising medical culture along with presentations of doctors in the media, meetings of experts of healthy lifestyles with population in local communities and organizations, dissemination of different medical handouts on maternal and child health. As part of campaigns the leading doctors of regional and national medical institutions visit remote settlements, provide medical examinations and highlight a wide range of issues related to health improvement. 

To ensure the practical implementation of abovementioned presentations Uzbekistan is building the appropriate infrastructure. With an eye to World Health Organization guidelines the republic runs specific programs to ensure timely and quality nutrition for pregnant women and infants. Nowadays, rural women on pregnancy are supplied with free multivitamin complexes at the residence place. The market is sufficiently provided with iodized salt and fortified flour, which help to cut the incidence of the pathologies caused by low content of iodine, iron and other micronutrients in the environment. In 2014 it is planned to accentuate the manufacture of foods fortified with specific vitamins and minerals. 

Children vaccination under the National Immunization Schedule is a reliable protection against many infectious diseases. Starting with the second half of 2014, the list of mandatory vaccination of children against certain diseases will be expanded. It is projected to ensure vaccination against rotavirus, which may even lead to the loss of a child. 

At an early stage 

The current stage of development stakes on advancement of the system of early detection of congenital and hereditary diseases to prevent the birth of disabled children. The specific program for 2013-2017 is underway. It envisages involving rural medical units and clinics which constantly monitor women at the place of their residence. They will provide all women in early pregnancy with modern ultrasound diagnostic examination. 

According to the document, Uzbekistan will launch another regional screening center in Tashkent region. It is expected to contribute to revealing congenital and hereditary diseases in one of the biggest regions of the country. 

Specialists of abovementioned institutions will continue comprehending new methods of diagnosis and prevention of various diseases that have not been previously diagnosed in Uzbekistan and were not treated at early stages. For instance, the Republican Screening Center is currently introducing a tandem mass spectrometry. It implies that a dry blood spot applied on a special card detects up to 20 diseases that develop on the background of amino acid metabolism disorders. 

As part of the program screening centers will be equipped with biochemical analyzers that provide the confirming diagnostics of certain hereditary diseases of the neuromuscular system and pathological conditions accompanied by skeletal deformities. Doctors of mother and child screening services are also to handle molecular genetic diagnostic technologies. 

From the first minutes 

Much attention is paid to the development of the obstetric care. Perinatal centers that specialize in helping women with pregnancy burdened by various complications have opened in all regions over the past ten years. Specialists of those centers work in collaboration with their colleagues from the Republican Perinatal Center and the Republican Specialized research Medical Center of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Their tandem allows finding optimal ways out of the most complicated situations. 

Scaled consolidation of logistical capacities has covered all maternity hospitals over the recent years. Dozens of buildings were built, reconstructed and overhauled. Sponsored by international financial institutions all of them were equipped with modern medical equipment, including resuscitation devices. Up-to-date incubation devices and heated tables allow fostering newborns with poor health. 

Organizational structure of the obstetric care ahs been completely changed. There are new approaches to rendering medical aid. Average length of stay of parturient women in hospital decreased from ten to three days, which is a reliable protection against nosocomial infections. New technologies of care for pregnant women and children have been introduced in maternity institutions. Today, mother and child are almost inseparable from the first minutes after birth, all newborns are exclusively breastfed. These and other approaches contribute not only to preservation and strengthening of maternal health, but also the successful development of children. 

High technologies 

Development of specialized pediatric services, including introduction of advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies, remains a priority. Ministry of Health is implementing a range of scaled projects in this field. 

For example, reconstruction of the Republican Specialized Research Medical Center is underway, thus contributing to the development of the entire system of provision of pediatric aid. New department of congenital and acquired ENT organs was launched at one of the buildings of the center late last year. Finally, Uzbekistan developed a surgery service for the children with hearing defects. 

The new department will offer a wide range of free operations, including costly cochlear implantation. The same center is currently building a neonatal surgery service. A child will not survive without these operations, so far they are offered solely by the Republican Perinatal Center. This is obviously not enough. Another new building of the same center is a location of endovisual surgery service. 

Today, many other major medical centers are involved in the development of specialized pediatric services. For instance, the launch of cardiac surgery block at the Republican Specialized Center of Surgery empowered heart surgery for children under three years. New diagnostics and treatment technologies are being introduced at renovated children’s departments of the Republican Specialized Research TB and Pulmonology Center. 

Frequently occurring diseases that require high-tech treatment will be treated in the regions as well. With this purpose all regions of the country continue strengthening logistical capacity of their regional diversified medical centers. Reconstruction of many buildings has been completed; however, it is still underway in Andijon, Qashqadaryo and Khorazm regions. It is scheduled to start supplying regional centers with modern high-tech equipment this year. It will be delivered under the joint project of the Ministry of Health and the German KfW Bank. 

Undoubtedly, the ongoing measures and new initiatives will significantly strengthen the current system of maternal and child healthcare. Thus national healthcare will contribute to nurturing young comprehensively advanced generation.
 

(Source: Jahon News Agency)


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