Oydin Muhamed is a cook at a health centre in Dushanbe, Tajikistan
"I cook food for patients and the staff. I have had no training as such but I love making people happy by cooking for them and feeding them. It is very important to their health. It is also a great joy to see the health workers fresh and ready to work after eating. The doctors and the patients seem satisfied with the food: I have even had poems from patients as an expression of gratitude!
Patients from remote areas expect to receive food provided by us, but some other patients prefer to bring their own food and I cook for them. There are few challenges except when we have terrible cold in winter when we have problems with electricity and water, and we could have a few improvements to the canteen itself.
For me a health system is a clear unified system which includes a healthy life style and a proper nutritional level. There have been important improvements to our health system. For example, nurses have become more involved with patients and visit them in their homes. But health care is still not equitable to all groups of the population. Those who are rich get better services, and poor ones get worse services. It needs more strengthening and development."