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Reaffirming Commitment To Improving Mother And Child Health

Print version
10 May 2013

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, 10 May 2013: The new office of the joint project of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the European Union and UNICEF - "Improving Mother and Child Health Services in Uzbekistan (IMCHS) in Uzbekistan" was inaugurated by Minister of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan A.V.Alimov, Ambassador Yuri Sterk, Head of European Union Delegation to the Republic of

Uzbekistan and UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan Jean-Michel Delmotte in the presence of representatives of international development agencies working in the health sector in Uzbekistan such as WHO, UNFPA, the German Development Bank KfW, the World Bank, the German Agency for International Cooperation.

These organizations are members of the Coordination Council for Maternal and Child Health Programmes, which oversees all activities that provide comprehensive solutions to save lives and ensure health of women and children so that ultimate goal of "Healthy mother - healthy child" can be reached.

“All efforts will be made to ensure that every mother and every child across the country has access to quality healthcare services,” affirmed the representatives of the European Union, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan and UNICEF at the inauguration of the ‘Improvement of Mother and Child Health Services (IMCHS) in Uzbekistan’ Project Office on the occasion of the European Union Day.

The project exemplifies a strong partnership in action between the Ministry of Health of Uzbekistan, the European Union and UNICEF that has made the first phase of the project a success and paved the way for expanding it nationwide. The first phase of the project was implemented from 2008 to 2011 in eight regions of the country: Andijan, Namangan, Sirdarya, Jizzakh, Samarkand, Navoi, Kashkadarya and Surkhandarya regions and enabled to reach out to two thirds of the country’s population with quality maternal and child health services.

The second phase of the project began in July 2012 and will continue till January 2016.

During this phase, more than 13,000 healthcare managers, doctors, midwifes and nurses from rural health points (SVPs), family policlinics, maternities and children’s hospitals will be trained. In addition, health care providers who were trained during the first phase will be retrained.

For this purpose, in addition to training centres that were set up at regional children’s multiprofile centres and perinatal centres, 12 new training centres are being established in Khorezm, Bukhara, Ferghana and Tashkent regions, Tashkent City, and the Republic of Karakalpakstan.

To date, within the project a national team of 56 trainers on health management was created and training materials for doctors and nurses were updated taking into account the best international practices in mother and child care and proper nutrition. The updated training materials used by training participants will also be available on the project website www.ona-bolasalomatligi.uz.

One of the important components of the second phase of the project is focused on improving the health culture of the population by changing family behaviors and practices in health, nutrition and hygiene positively. Preparations are going on to pilot this component in the Republic of Karakalpakstan and Namangan region. Through an innovative community learning and action approach, families in mahallas will be supported in practicing five key behaviours essential for their children’s healthy development. These include the recognition of ‘danger signs’ of childhood illnesses, practicing exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life, provision of a nutritious and balanced diet for children, emotional bonding with young children and stimulating their learning and development; and practicing proper hygiene.

“The project supports national programmes and priorities of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the field of health and contributes to the improvement of maternal and child health in the country," said Minister of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan professor A.V.Alimov.

“This project renews the promise of saving lives and giving every child the best possible start in life. We can achieve this objective through improvement of the quality of health services for the most difficult to reach, by equipping health professionals to provide top quality services and by empowering families to improve childcare practices in the household. I am pleased to recommit UNICEF’s support and technical expertise to the dynamic partnership this project represents,” said Jean-Michel Delmotte, UNICEF Representative.

“The new Mother and Child project is characterized by three aspects: continuity, to enhance and improve what has already been achieved in 8 regions of Uzbekistan during the first phase; geographical expansion and wider scope of training in the remaining 6 regions; and development of innovative components dealing with nutrition at family, community and medical workers levels, " said Ambassador Yuri Sterk, Head of European Union Delegation to the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The IMCHS Project budget is 7,418,770 EURO where EC’s contribution makes 6,600,000 EURO, including 1,700,000 EURO of medical equipment; and UNICEF’s contribution - 818,770 EURO.

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