Turkmenistan celebrates 25th anniversary of WHO membership


Visitors take part in Zumba dance class during the Health for Everyone Festival

On 2 July 2017, Turkmenistan celebrated the 25th anniversary of its membership with WHO. Throughout these years, WHO goals and objectives have found enormous support, commitment and political will from the Government of Turkmenistan as it has worked to ensure the highest-attainable level of health for its citizens.

Through its ongoing cooperation with WHO, Turkmenistan has made tangible progress in the field of public health. It has protected and enhanced population health by combating communicable diseases, controlling noncommunicable diseases, and strengthening health systems, preparedness, surveillance and response.

On 3–7 July, the WHO Country Office and the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan held a series of events to acknowledge and celebrate these common achievements. The official opening included a dialogue on health entitled “Partnership for health and well-being in the Sustainable Development Goals era: leaving no one behind”. Speakers presented practical examples of a whole-of-society approach to health and well-being, focusing on health literacy, social mobilization and healthy cities.

The plenary discussion featured participation from representatives of different state institutions, including the Ministry of Economics, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, and Parliament. Representatives of nongovernmental organizations such as the Sport Club of Disabled People of Turkmenistan, the Red Crescent Society and the Women’s Union of Turkmenistan, as well as international organizations, also contributed to the discussion.

To mark the occasion, a photo exhibition depicting 25 years of collaboration between WHO and Turkmenistan also hung within the United Nations building in Ashgabat.

To wrap up the anniversary in a healthy way, the Health for Everyone Festival took place on 7 July. There, participants enjoyed a variety of activities promoting a healthy lifestyle. More than 200 people joined for different tournaments, including soccer, chess, table tennis, darts and Zumba dance. Young football players competed in football drills during a grassroots football session. Chefs provided healthy recipes during master cooking classes. Organizers also distributed informational materials on health and the Sustainable Development Goals to visitors.

The Festival was organized under the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, the Sport Club of Disabled People of Turkmenistan, the United Nations Communication Team and the WHO Country Office in Turkmenistan.