• KGS/USD = 0.01173 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09387 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01173 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09387 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01173 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09387 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01173 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09387 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01173 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09387 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01173 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09387 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01173 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09387 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01173 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09387 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

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Russian Laboratory to Combat Dangerous Infections in Kyrgyzstan

Russia has allocated funds for the construction of a laboratory in Kyrgyzstan to combat dangerous infections. The announcement was made by a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Gennady Onishchenko, during a video conference on biosafety in the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union. Kyrgyzstan has yet to determine where the laboratory will be located. Russian officials have stated that it cannot be sited near residential areas and prior to its construction, associated personnel -- virologists and microbiologists -- should be provided with necessary training and equipment. As reported by 24.kg, the planned laboratory is part of a memorandum of understanding on ensuring biological safety, signed in October 2023 by the governments of Kyrgyzstan and Russia.  

Kyrgyzstan Battles Misinformation about Vaccines as Measles Cases Rise

Dear parents! Vaccinate your child.  That’s the message from the health ministry in Kyrgyzstan, where the number of reported measles cases this year has soared to nearly 8,000 despite government efforts to overcome the anti-vaccine sentiment fueling the outbreak.  “It has been proven that there is no connection between vaccinations and autism!” Kyrgyzstan’s health ministry said this month on Facebook. The announcement cited British and American medical studies in the last few decades that it said confirm “there is no biological link between vaccination and morbidity.” Despite the campaign, at least 7,864 cases of measles have been reported in the Central Asian country as of April 8, according to the Republican Center for Immunoprophylaxis, a health ministry organization that oversees vaccinations. The 24.kg news agency reported “intense circulation” of the virus that causes measles in Bishkek, Chui and Jalal-Abad regions. In December, UNICEF said cases of measles in Europe and Central Asia had skyrocketed by 3000 percent in 2023, in comparison to the previous year, and that a backsliding in vaccine coverage was responsible. It said Kazakhstan had the highest rate of measles cases, though officials there reported in March that cases were in decline after a successful vaccination drive. Kyrgyzstan had the second highest rate at the time.  “A decrease in vaccine demand – in part fuelled by misinformation and mistrust which worsened during and following the COVID-19 pandemic, disruption to health services and weak primary health care systems are some of the contributing factors,” the U.N. agency said.  Nine children died from measles in Kyrgyzstan in 2023, according to the government.  The Health Ministry says “myths” about vaccines include the belief that they contain dangerous preservatives; Europe is testing new drugs by sending them to Kyrgyzstan as humanitarian aid; and that it’s better to let a child get sick and develop natural immunity rather than get the shot. Measles, which is highly contagious, infects the respiratory tract and then spreads around the body. The vaccine, the World Health Organization says, is safe and effective. 

Travelers to Turkmenistan Still Forced to Pay for COVID-19 Test

Travelers flying to Ashgabat airport in Turkmenistan still have to pay for a COVID-19 test upon arrival, but don't have to actually take the test, according to a report by Chronicles of Turkmenistan. Passengers landing in Ashgabat are forced to pay 60 manat ($17 at the official rate) for a certificate showing a negative result, but officials are letting them leave the airport without conducting the test. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced in May last year that the COVID-19 virus no longer had pandemic status. Meanwhile, Turkmenistan’s government has always denied that COVID-19 has ever been present in the country.

Pandemic Hangover Continues to Affect Mental Health

According to the latest Sapien Labs Mental State of the World Report, Uzbekistan ranked last among 71 countries, including all other Central Asian countries (Turkmenistan was not included in the ranking). The ranking is based on the mood of residents and their outlook on life in 2023. Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are included for the first time. The Dominican Republic tops the list, followed by Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Panama, and Malaysia. The United Kingdom occupies the penultimate place ahead of Uzbekistan. Some poor countries in Africa and Latin America have overtaken the developed countries of Europe and the Americas on a number of indicators. Researchers have noted a trend towards depressed moods since the Covid-19 pandemic - a trend which is still going strong after more than four years. They believe that low rates of mental wellbeing in rich countries are linked to multiple factors, including smartphone addiction, fast-food consumption, the breakdown of friendships and family relationships, and the rising isolation due to working from home. Furthermore, GDP per capita figures are inversely correlated with average mental wellbeing, once again confirming the old adage that "money can't buy happiness." In 2022, the results of a study on adolescent mental health were published in Uzbekistan for the first time. UNICEF, together with partner organizations, surveyed 22,854 students in 299 schools from all 14 regions to better understand the needs of adolescents and to identify school-related factors affecting their mental health and psycho-social wellbeing. The study found that more than 10% of students do not feel socially connected to their school and feel isolated. Also, a significant number of students - 15.4% - suffer from anxiety, and another 9.8% experienced depression. Based on this data, UNICEF experts recommended improving family and friendship connections, expanding social ties, and creating a comfortable school environment for adolescents. Scientists have noted that indicators of mental wellbeing have especially decreased among young people, who are most dependent on modern technology. Meanwhile, people aged 65 and older have not seen a strong deterioration in scores since 2010. Another conclusion reached was that the level of mental wellbeing depends on the frequency in which processed foods are consumed, which affects the onset of depression and reduced emotional wellbeing. An important factor was also the disruption of intra-family relationships. According to research, 10% of young people between the ages of 18 and 24 do not get along with anyone in their family and prefer not to see them, while the analogous figure among the older generation is only three%. Weak family ties, scientists say, quadruple the likelihood of mental-health problems in adulthood.

Kyrgyzstan Offers Eye Operations to Premature Babies

Doctors in Bishkek yesterday conducted two successful surgeries on premature babies, performing laser coagulation of the retina on infants with retinopathy. According to the National Center for Maternal and Child Health of Kyrgyzstan, Kyrgyz doctors were assisted in these operations by the chief retinologist of Almaty. The Kyrgyz Health Ministry describes retinopathy as an eye anomaly that is detected in children born prematurely. In 2023 in Kyrgyzstan there were 1,280 cases of premature babies born with retinopathy. Most of these babies, including those who could not get treatment abroad, went blind. According to reports, Kyrgyz doctors have mastered a new type of eye surgery thanks to colleagues from Kazakhstan, where Kyrgyz specialists were previously trained. "Earlier, with the active support of the National Red Crescent Society, the Swiss Red Cross and the L'Occitane Foundation, two doctors from the ophthalmology department of the National Center for Maternal Health successfully completed training on screening retinopathy in premature babies in Almaty," the Center said. The Kyrgyz Ministry of Health commented: "Rare eye surgeries have become possible thanks to the equipment that Kyrgyz doctors last year bought from the United States; a specialized laser for iridotomy. This [device] has become an invaluable tool in the fight against retinopathy in children." The National Center for Maternal and Child Health also said that such operations will soon begin to take place not only in Bishkek, but also in the country's regions. Doctors from other Kyrgyz cities have already been trained by Kazakhstani specialists.

USAID Helps To Eradicate Tuberculosis In Tajikistan

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with Tajikistan’s Ministry of Health and National Tuberculosis Program, has completed its Eliminating Tuberculosis in Central Asia activity (ETICA) in Tajikistan. Over four years ETICA has made remarkable achievements in the fight against tuberculosis (TB), improving the quality of TB services and enhancing the knowledge and skills of healthcare professionals, the US Embassy in Tajikistan said on February 13th. ETICA has made significant strides in combating tuberculosis in the country by screening more than 83,000 individuals, including vulnerable and high-risk groups, finding new cases, and putting people suffering from TB on treatment. The activity facilitated the endorsement of evidence-based guidelines and policy protocols for the TB laboratory sector, and primary health and TB care. Supported by USAID, the National Reference Laboratory earned a certificate of excellence in performing modern testing for TB; new shortened regimens were introduced to optimize TB treatment, and the health workforce capacity was built to deliver people-centered, high-quality services. In total, 1,645 medical and 1,392 non-health professionals enhanced their knowledge and skills on the various aspects of TB control. “The successful completion of the USAID’s ETICA activity in Tajikistan marks a significant milestone in the fight against TB,” said USAID Mission Director Peter Riley.