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MSF in Turkmenistan, 2009
Field Staff: 57
Reason for Intervention:
All articles on Turkmenistan »
Despite the fact that Turkmenistan is rich in oil and gas reserves, many people lack access to good-quality basic healthcare. The government actively promotes an adherence to international healthcare standards in order to uphold a façade of prosperity while the true picture of public health concerns remains hidden, and healthcare workers are unable to provide adequate care.
The existence of HIV/AIDS is often denied by authorities, and the relatively high prevalence of communicable diseases such as tuberculosis (TB) and sexually transmitted infections do not receive adequate attention in the health centers.
MSF worked in Magdanly District Hospital in the east of the country supporting pediatric and reproductive healthcare from 2004 until September 2009. The project supported more than 1,600 hospitalized children and assisted more than 780 deliveries. However, having come to a limit of what could be achieved in this program, MSF decided to close the project in September 2009.
MSF had planned to start a new project to treat Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and HIV–co-infected patients. So far, MSF has not been granted permission to start or be involved in a comprehensive MDR-TB program, despite the fact that Turkmenistan has no such program in place and that drug-resistance rates are comparatively high. Negotiations have been slow: they started in summer 2008 and continued until the end of 2009. Therefore, MSF closed its operational presence in December 2009, but stays committed to reengaging and assisting the Turkmen population as soon as an agreement can be reached.
MSF has worked in Turkmenistan since 1999.