Rehabilitation in Tajikistan

An outbreak of poliomyelitis (polio) started early in 2010 in Tajikistan, eight years after the WHO European Region was certified as polio free. According to government statistics, 712 acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) cases were notified. Most patients are in the recovery phase, but some have already started showing signs of residual paralysis. All people affected could benefit from rehabilitation.

At the beginning of the outbreak, on request from the Ministry of Health, the WHO Country Office, Tajikistan hired a consultant to make a plan to build rehabilitation capacity, including assessing the resource requirements. In the meantime, the Ministry asked the WHO Country Office to train doctors in managing the recovery phase.

A half-day workshop was conducted to train doctors, particularly to prevent deformities. The participants found the training productive, as it included hands-on practice. In addition, the consultant on rehabilitation visited some of families in rural districts to give parents training on how to decrease the harm done by polio to their children.

Moreover, a meeting was held for stakeholders, including all partners and societies for disabled people in the country. Operation Mercy and Handicap International were very interested in extending rehabilitation in the country, and are organizing regular training for medical personnel and parents in Tajikistan.