For many countries, Turkmenistan became the model in such important sphere as health protection and in provision of sanitary and epidemic wealth of the population. Large-scale activity in this sphere is aimed at the solution of important state objectives – the protection and improvement of health of the citizens, creation of safe conditions for life and work. Prevention of infectious diseases and environment protection.
For these purposes, at first, the legislation base, which opens the broad way to reforms, has been improved. The articles of the Code of Turkmenistan on Administrative Offences improves the measures for violations of sanitary rules. New edition of the Sanitary Code of Turkmenistan, Laws of Turkmenistan on Health Protection of the Population, on Safety of Food Products, on Propaganda and Support of Breast Feeding, on Radiation Safety, On Drinking Water, on Health Protection of Population against Tobacco Smoke and the Consequences of the Use of Tobacco Products, on Prevention of Spread of Diseased caused by Human Immune Deficiency (HIV), Resolution of the President of Turkmenistan on Salt Iodization and Fortification of Flour with Iron and Folic Acid have been adopted.
Realization of the General Programme for Provision of Pure Drinking Water to Residential Areas of Turkmenistan, National Programme of Healthy Nutrition of the Population of Turkmenistan in 2013 – 2017 and 2014 – 2020 National Strategy of Fulfilment of Objectives Outlined in the Ashgabat Declaration on Prevention and Combating against Non-infectious Diseases in Turkmenistan has brought significant results.
Regulating and methodological documents on prevention and epidemic monitoring of infectious diseases as well as on the state sanitary and epidemiological monitoring and provision of quality and safety of food materials and products on food production, shopping and catering facilities, kindergartens and schools have been improved. Standards of radiation safety and hygiene norms in toxicology, protection of atmospheric air, water facilities and lands have been developed and approved. Methods of laboratory studies of natural facilities including food products have also been improved.
Immunosorbent, chromatographic and spectrometric methods of assays as well as the real-time methods of polymerized chain reaction for studies of plant-based food products and other biological materials on gene level have been introduced to the practice of the Service.
State monitoring of quality and safety of food is the main objective of the State Sanitary and Epidemic Service of the country.
The Ministry of Health Protection and Medical Industry adopted the General Rules and Regulations for Provision of Quality and Safety of Food Materials and Products. This document is always being modified based on scientific information. Monitoring of dangerous additives, which are prohibited in the country, in food products is strengthened.
State sanitary and epidemic service registers food products, packing materials as well as controls food products sold in the markets of the country.
In 2012, Turkmenistan became the member of the Codex Alimentarius operating under the aegis of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) for the protection of consumers’ health and the World Health Organization (WHO) for protection of the consumers’ health and support of good practice of food products trade. At present time, national regulation documents on quality and safety of food products are being brought to the standards of the Codex Alimentarius or Food Products Code.
According to the Resolutions of the Head of the State, measures for enrichment of food salt and wheat flour produced in Turkmenistan with micronutrients are taken in the country for the prevention of non-infectious diseases. Enrichment of salt with iodine and wheat flour with iron and folic acid is carried out according to international standards. Our country has achieved great success in this in cooperation with the UNICEF.
On behalf of the UNICEF, WHO and International Council for Control of iodine-deficiency diseases, Turkmenistan received International Certificate for the achievements of universal iodization of salt for stable elimination of the iodine-deficiency disease. Turkmenistan was the first among central Asia and the CIS countries and the forth in the world as the state that achieved universal iodization of salt. In 2011, our country has been awarded for the leadership in fortification of flour.
Results of big and efficient prevention measures on the state level have led to the reduction of the levels of non-infectious diseases including those related with iodine deficiency and iron-deficient anaemia.
Cooperation in quality and safety of food products and drinking water as well as in environmental protection issues is carried out with the World Health organization and the UNICEF. It is worth mentioning that recently, the requirements for drinking water have been significantly changed. New facilities for production of pure drinking water have been put into operation in the country. It made great effect on the health of the population and led to elimination of the number of diseases.
Great attention is paid to integrated work for protection of land and water resources, atmospheric air and improvement of the ecology on the territories of Turkmenistan located close to Aral Sea. Improvement of urban construction policy, planting of trees in habitation areas, construction of numerous fountains, building of new roads and flyovers allowing reducing the traffic are important part of systematic activity for support of favourable ecology.
The country established accurate system of epidemiologic control of infectious diseases. In the result of prevention measures, Turkmenistan received the WHO certificate for elimination of parasitic dracunculiasis.
Vaccination is one of priority directions of the prevention of infectious diseases. Procurement of the vaccine and immunization means is made from the State budget. It is important to mention that the immunization is made by high quality vaccine approved by the World Health Organization. System of cold chain for storage and transportation of immune biological substances has been considerably improved.
At present, children receive free vaccination from 11 infections like pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B, haemophilus influenza type B, measles, rubella, epidemic parotitis, tuberculosis, poliomyelitis and human papilloma virus according to national calendar of vaccination. The country supports high level of immunization of children. It is 95 percent.
Combination of quality immunization and efficient epidemic monitoring of vaccine-controlled infections allowed achieving significant success. For example, some infectious diseases have been eliminated as well as the indicators of diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, parotiditis and other have been reduced. It is worth mentioning that Turkmenistan received the Certificate on Elimination of wild poliovirus circulation in the country.
According to the recommendation of the World Health Organization, the Programme of Prevention of measles and rubella-related infection in Turkmenistan has been adopted and in 2015, the Who Regional Bureau confirmed the achievement of the country in elimination of measles and rubella. Turkmenistan has also supported and adopted strategic plan of the WHO European Region on Transit from Combating to Elimination of Malaria by 2015 and by the results of its successful implementation has been included to the list of countries that achieved elimination malaria in 2010.
At present, great attention is paid in Turkmenistan to the prevention of tropical and parasitic diseases urgent around the world. All documentation on epidemiological monitoring, treatment and laboratory diagnostics of leishmaniasis has been renewed under this strategy. Every year, the laboratories of the country improve the diagnostics of bacterial, virus, parasitic infections. Central parasitology laboratory of the Service received international accreditation and received Quality Certificate of National Reference Laboratory for diagnostics of parasitic and tropical diseases.
For improvement of preventive majors carried out on international level, Turkmenistan has elaborated and implements National Programme of safe use of medical wastes and National Strategy of prevention development of antibiotic resistance.
Protection of Turkmenistan from dangerous diseases is the objective set out by president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for the State Sanitary and Epidemic Service of Turkmenistan. Sanitary and quarantine departments operate at all state frontier outposts, airways, rail and motor roads. Equipment for distant checking of the temperature of people “Тегоkаm” has been installed in Ashgabat, Turkmenabat and Turkmenbashy International Airports as well as at Turkmenbashy International Seaport.
Sanitary protection of Turkmenistan is carried out under international medical and sanitary standards. As for today, high results have been achieved in prevention and control of sanitary and epidemiological situation in the country and protection from import of infectious diseases.
Due to targeted social policy of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, equipment and facilities base of sanitary and epidemiological services is systematically improved. In particular, the buildings of Ashgabat and Turkmenbashy Sanitary and Epidemiological Services have been reconstructed and equipped with modern communication devices and office hardware. Laboratories have been provided with modern equipment meeting all requirements of international standards.
According to National health Programme, the works for construction of new and reconstruction of existing buildings of sanitary and epidemiological services of velayats, cities and etraps are carried out on permanent base. The Centre of public Health and Nutrition and the Centre of Prevention of Dangerous Infections. Which are equipped with the latest hardware and having no analogues in the world, have been put into operation in 2016. Activity of these facilities is aimed at the health protection of the population from physical, chemical and biological factors of the environment including from different infections and at highly efficient preventive measures.
The Centre of Public Health and Nutrition permanently monitors atmospheric air quality of populated areas, production and living premises using modern laboratory methods. Scientific and research works on study of ecological food technologies and healthy nutrition are taken together with the UNICEF and the WHO. Draft regulation and methodological documents are developed in this sphere.
For provision of sanitary and epidemiological wealth, the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service have taken successful measures during V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat in September 2017 when thousands of guests have arrived to our country from all over the world. Development of innovative approach to work, improvement of the initiative of every specialists and manager, formation of the requirement to improvement of professional qualification are topical objectives of current activity of the Sanitary and Epidemiological Service.
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