Bringing health services closer to people in Kyrgyzstan
Kyzylgul is a 57-year-old grandmother of 6. She lives in the place where she was born and grew up – Jyrgalan village, located in a mountainous area more than 450 kilometres from Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
Since 2005, Kyzylgul has been one of 12 community health volunteers in her home village, participating in the volunteer-led project Community Action for Health. The project offers an example of good practice for World Health Day 2018, which focuses on universal health coverage.
Kyzylgul and her fellow volunteers promote healthy living and, crucially, monitor blood pressure so that hypertension can be detected early and patients referred to the local health centre. There are hundreds of volunteers like Kyzylgul across the country, and the initiative has made a measurable difference in the detection of hypertension.
According to Dr Jarno Habicht, WHO Representative in Kyrgyzstan, “The village health committees in Kyrgyzstan are an excellent example of how to build on a local community movement, how to address health needs, and how to extend and bring primary health care closer to individuals, their families and the whole community and take practical steps towards universal health coverage.”