Improving hospital care for children in Tajikistan

Paediatric care in Tajikistan, like in other central Asian countries, is an important area of the health system that needs to be improved and strengthened. Within a project spanning four countries and ten pilot hospitals, two capacity-building workshops for national trainers and hospital personnel on use of the "WHO pocket book of hospital care for children" were conducted in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on 26 and 30 November 2012.

"Improving and strengthening the quality of paediatric services in Tajikistan is one of the critical areas for reducing child mortality and improving sustainability of the health system. WHO, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and other development partners, will continue to work in this area within the health systems framework," said Dr Pavel Ursu, WHO Representative/Head of the WHO Country Office in Tajikistan.

Cornerstone of international development

Overcoming challenges in improving the quality of paediatric services will play a key role in progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

In an effort to scale up and document best practices in paediatric care, the Government of the Russian Federation provided a grant through WHO to support a project for improvement of paediatric care quality in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Angola and Ethiopia. Within the framework of this project, WHO together with the Scientific Centre for Child Health of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences provides technical assistance in reducing child mortality through strengthening national health systems capacity and improving paediatric care quality for common childhood illnesses in first-level referral hospitals.

A recent assessment of paediatric care conducted in the project's ten pilot hospitals revealed, among other problems, the need to strengthen the capacity of providers in evidence-based clinical management of paediatric patients.

Following the assessment recommendations, the WHO Country Office in collaboration with Ministry of Health provided the two capacity-building workshops in Tajikistan to address key problems in clinical management, with a specific focus on:

  • strengthening skills in triage and emergency conditions;
  • growth assessment;
  • management of sick children with anaemia;
  • supportive care;
  • monitoring.

The workshops were facilitated by Dr Zaure Ospanova and Dr Bayan Babaeva (WHO consultants), Dr Aigul Kuttumuratova (Medical Officer, WHO/Europe) and a team of national trainers.

Ongoing WHO support

The workshops were part of the WHO Country Office's ongoing support of Tajikistan's Ministry of Health in improving maternal and paediatric care. Strategic approaches, guidelines and training tools on strengthening child health services in first-level referral hospitals developed by WHO have laid the foundation for development of national policies and capacity building of the health workforce both at the national and regional level.