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MSF in Turkmenistan, 2006/2007
Field Staff: 73
Reason for Intervention:
All articles on Turkmenistan »
MSF is working to improve the quality of healthcare for children and pregnant women in Magdanly – a predominantly ethnic Uzbek populated, impoverished area on the eastern frontier of Turkmenistan, remote from the capital. Despite state gas revenues, many Turkmen provinces are destitute in this ex-Soviet Central Asian state. The country is one where MSF struggles with a healthcare system that continues to risk stalemating progress of its programs, whilst at the same time forming the basis for MSF’s presence in Turkmenistan.
MSF works in the general pediatrics, infectious disease, intensive care, and maternity wards of the Magdanly Town Hospital, providing equipment, drugs and medical materials and supporting laboratory services. The project has set up an intensive baby care room in the hospital, a child screening room in the clinic, and makes regular outreach visits to primary healthcare posts around Magdanly. MSF addresses medical complications seen in babies, and focuses heavily on lifesaving support for premature births. MSF also undertakes extensive local staff training and community health education. In 2006, within MSF projects, 40,000 outpatient and 3,000 inpatient consultations in the hospital were directly supported by MSF medical staff, along with 1,000 deliveries.
No success introducing TB treatment
Throughout 2006, MSF continued to push forward a project of TB-DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment Short course) services, for inclusion in the district public healthcare. After months of lobbying, in summer 2006 MSF received positive feedback from the Ministry of Health on its proposal, but preparations to integrate patient screening and treatment have been on hold since September 2006, because of objections to the concept of integrated TB services. Although Turkmenistan has adopted a national program of TB treatment along the World Health Organization’s DOTS strategies, many TB patients continue to face a lack of access to quality care.
MSF has worked in Turkmenistan since 1999.