THE YEAR OF DIALOGUE WITH THE PEOPLE AND HUMAN INTERESTS
February 23, 2016
STRATEGIC APPROACH TOWARD WELLBEING
What does the future start with? With a healthy mother and child, one will say with certainty. That is why protection of mother and child health has been a state policy priority from the early years of independence. National programs that covered a wide range of issues have been carried out in succession. 1998 was the Year of the Family, 2000 – the Year of the Healthy Generation, 2001 - the Year of Mother and Child, 2008 - the Year of the Youth, 2012 – the Year of the Family, 2014 – the Year of the Healthy Child. The implementation of initiatives in this direction never stopped. Rather, every new program was complemented with new projects. In furtherance of these traditions, President Islam Karimov approved The Year of Healthy Mother and Child state program.
Relay: Year after Year
The current year, 2016, has taken the baton from 2015, the Year of Attention and Care for the Senior Generation. Major social programs of the past and current year have much in common. Both are aimed at further strengthening of cooperation and collaboration between local governments and communities, women\'s and youth organizations, veteran organizations. In both cases, the programs focus on active involvement of respected and authoritative representatives of the older generation.
Arrangement of meetings of the two generations has been an important element of the programs along with other activities. They have been contributing to the effective use of knowledge and experience of the older generation in upbringing of children, and raising young people’s awareness in the continuity of traditions and national values. Local communities will hold discussions and meetings to promote the lifestyle and experience of strong families, which exemplify the development of the noble qualities like veneration of the older generation, loyalty to the motherland and the people.
Great importance will be traditionally attached to strengthening the cooperation between families, citizens\' self-government bodies and educational institutions with regard to the issues of mentoring the younger generation. Joint action programs will be developed and approved. They will focus on ensuring full coverage of students with education, and establishment of public control over the quality of education. Broad involvement of students in hobby clubs remains a priority.
Representatives of communities, women\'s and youth associations, respected elders keep participating in outreach actions. It is important that each citizen knew the essence of ongoing measures in Uzbekistan on strengthening families, relations between people of different generations, as well as on the state care of children and young mothers. As before, the advocacy is backed up by target actions. On September 2, more than 640,000 first-graders will be presented with Presidential gift sets of 12 items of school supplies. The targeted social support for low-income families will be carried out throughout the year.
Over 88 projects to the tune of 7.5 trillion soums and $194 million will be carried out under this year’s State Program. They are expected to significantly strengthen the country\'s system of mother and child protection and upbringing of a comprehensively advanced generation. (currency rates of CB RU from 23.02.2016, 1$= 2851.65 soums)
Basics of Success
Streamlining of legislation and regulatory framework will be continued in 2016. It is planned to introduce a whole range of regulations aimed at strengthening the protection of the family, mothers and children, protection of women\'s interests and enhancement of their role in upbringing of a healthy child. Strengthening of the institution of the family as the foundation of a strong, stable and prosperous state is seen as important point in abovementioned activities.
Our health depends on what we eat. Development of science and technologies entails the everlasting controversy about what is eatable and what is not, what quantities are harmful, and what are useful? The answers to these and many other questions will be provided by a National Educational and Research Center of Nutrition at the Tashkent Medical Academy.
Meanwhile, one of the debates will be settled on the legislative basis this year. Experts agreed that the country needs to impose restrictions on the importation and consumption of the products that contain genetically modified organisms. The baby food must not contain them. In view of these reasons, the introduction of the corresponding changes and amendments to the law on quality and food safety was initiated under the major social program.
There is a need to develop a new edition of the Law ‘On youth policy’. Experts see it important to streamline the mechanisms of regulation of main directions of the state youth policy. The innovations should address the problems of youth in need of special social protection. The goals can be achieved through the creation of additional jobs and specialized enterprises, the organization of specialized education programs, retraining and advanced training, and the minimal quota for backup jobs for their employment.
The further strengthening of protection of the rights and interests of children without parental care has been the most important area of legislative work. Changes and amendments will be introduced in the Law ‘On guardianship and custody’.
Experts point out to the need for clarifying regulations that would specify the orphans and children without parental care to be fully supported by the state. There is a need for legislative specification of the procedure and authority that will decide and process the assignment for full state provision. The law should have the rules to regulate the specification of the conditions under which claims for custody over children may be denied.
The rural housing stock will be replenished with 13,000 standard design houses this year. New apartment buildings will be constructed in urban areas. Much attention has been paid to further improvement of centralized supply of gas, water and electricity to the new buildings, reconstruction and repair of sewer networks. Water supply to Alat and Karakul districts of Bukhara region, Bayaut, Khavast, Mirzaobod, Sardoba and Oqoltin districts of Syrdarya region will be improved through the construction of 21 kilometers of pipelines this year.
Infrastructure in remote settlements will be developed. It is planned to approve the program of establishment of 194 standard design complexes of consumer services in certain villages of the republic. They will include beauty salons, tailor’s workshops, repair shops for household appliances, footwear. The facilities are designed to further alleviate house works for women, provide quality public services, create additional jobs with the priority to vocational college graduates. Businessmen will play a decisive role in the implementation of the program. The state will support them by concessional loans.
We are no longer surprised at the availability of high-tech devices like cell phones, laptops, tuners, DVD-top boxes, satellite and cable TV, electric ovens, water heating boilers and more in households, while people actually did not know about them some two decades ago. Over the years of independence, the availability of TVs has increased by 1.6 times, and cars - by 3.5 times. Today, almost every second family has a personal transportation mean. Presently, 94% of households are equipped with refrigerators, 84 use different kinds of electrical cooking equipment, 63 - washing machines, more than half households have computers, vacuum cleaners and microwave ovens, a third of families use air conditioning.
Guided by the data, the national program the Year of Mother and Child Health focuses on the support of young families in house planning and equipping. The policy of providing them with mortgage loans for the purchase, construction and reconstruction of housing will be continued. Commercial banks are encouraged to keep issuing consumer loans for the purchase of durable goods.
Young families will be also supported by the Federation of Trade Unions in collaboration with employers. Under the program, more than 2,000 families will receive loans for purchasing durable goods and housing. 5,000 needy families will receive financial aid. The Federation of Trade Unions will grant free electrical appliances to 3,000 women living in remote rural areas.
In the spotlight
Over the past five years, maternal mortality per 100,000 newborns has decreased from 23.1 cases to 19, and infant mortality - from 11 to 10.7. Uzbekistan has achieved the respective Millennium Development Goals in these indicators. Meanwhile, doctors express convictions in even better progress. They also expect certain outcomes from the projects on prevention and treatment of diseases, which were initiated in previous years, and from the new projects that will open up the opportunities of further strengthening the public health.
The construction of new health facilities of the fourth level for provision of medical aid to complicated patients with the use of advanced medical technologies is a new direction. It is scheduled to launch the construction of a diversified children’s medical center for 280 beds and 250 visits per shift in Tashkent. 1,500 high-tech operations will be performed there every year. Concurrently, the Ministry of Health and its social partners will start preparation for a project on the construction of the Women’s Health Center in Tashkent with advanced diagnostic and therapeutic equipment, consultative clinic and the operating unit for reproductive health patients, gynecology, prevention and treatment of extragenital diseases.
It is planned to introduce a method of using vitamin K for the prevention of hemorrhagic disease in the newborns. The introduction of surfactant therapy will be another innovation in the prevention of respiratory distress syndrome in premature infants.
Ferghana valley is getting prepared to become a platform for several pilot projects on improvement of women\'s reproductive health. The program will include a month rally on cancer prevention, early detection and screening. It is expected that examinations will be carried out with the use of high-tech methods of detection and treatment of diseases at early stages. The Namangan region will conduct an experiment on the introduction of domestic pregnancy card. 60,000 women will receive a special booklet for registering all information about the course of pregnancy and on prevention of complications. In the follow-up, the practice will be distributed throughout the country.
Targeted economic, social, home-based, medical and other measures, as well as regular sports classes have resulted in the decrease of incidence of acute respiratory viral infections among children aged 6-15 by 47.3%, pneumonia –55.6%, bronchitis - 61.7%, scoliosis – by 45.5%. Over 301.6 billion soums and $700,000 will be allocated in pursuance of the reforms on the further promotion and involvement of children and adolescents in regular sports, as well as improvement of quality of sports classes. A range of measures includes the construction of new sports facilities and holding of mass sports events.
Mission number one
The national program the Year of Mother and Child Health is based on centuries-old traditions and customs of the Uzbek people. Following the folk wisdom of ‘A sound mind in a sound body’, the program developers have laid many important and new initiatives aiming at upbringing of comprehensively advanced young generation.
In addition to the package of measures on strengthening the logistical capacity of preschool educational institutions, it was proposed to review the requirements and standards to the accessories, furniture, and toys for nursery schools. In this context, it is also proposed to build on the best practices of the developed countries, especially in terms of improving their ergonomics, usability, durability and safety of materials and energy efficient technologies. This suggests that all the 286 nursery schools to be reconstructed this year, will be equipped in line with the new standards.
Experts have been increasingly pointing out not to the strengthening the logistical capacity of schools, but to the need to improve the quality of education. It is expected that a program on the development and publication of a new generation of textbooks for secondary schools in accordance with international standards and experience on the development of modern textbooks in foreign languages in 2016-2020 will be approved this year. The entirely new methodology of teaching disciplines at all levels of compulsory education will be introduced as part of this work. It is planned to develop new curricula and modern illustrated books, particularly for primary school. Along with textbooks, a kit will include a student workbook, and a guide for teachers with a multimedia application. This work will involve the leading foreign educational centers of Germany, Singapore, the Republic of Korea and Japan, as well as international experts and specialists in the relevant fields of teaching.
A 100 percent coverage of nine graders with the study in academic lyceums and vocational colleges, especially girls, is the program’s priority.
Employment of graduates of vocational colleges remains the priority task. It is expected that graduates of vocational colleges of the 2015/2016 academic year, organizations, enterprises, administrations of vocational colleges and parents will conclude 478,900 quadripartite agreements in the near future. The agreements stipulate that graduates will be provided with workplaces for practical training and subsequent employment. The graduates who decided to start their own business will be supported with concessional bank loans and accelerated registration of business entities.
Normally, the path towards knowledge is not limited to training and educational processes. The educated youth imposes high demands on obtaining diverse information, the works of national and world literature, all sorts of educational activities. Regional information and library centers will be incorporated in the National Library in order to bring the library services for rural population to a drastically new level. This step will be followed by strengthening their logistical capacity and introduction of modern technologies of reader service. It is planned to open a network of Kitob Olami (The World of Books) bookstores in all regions in order to promote the Uzbek literature and present the best samples of world literature.
... And recreation
The program provides a wide range of activities on the arrangement of eventful recreation. It will include tourist trips to historical cities, preferential tickets to the best health resorts, recreation areas and children\'s health improvement camps, and much more. Much attention has been paid to streamlining of the recreational infrastructure.
15 sanatoriums of the trade unions system will focus on strengthening the logistical capacity of Mother and Child departments for a comfortable stay of women with children: a child plays in a game room under the supervision of a tutor while his mom is getting treatment.
Big enterprises will make their contribution to the development of recreational infrastructure. For instance, the Navoi Mining and Smelting Plant is planning to overhaul a Metallurg recreation resort in Karmana district of Navoi region, and reconstruct the former building of pulmonology department of NMSP medical unit ¹4 in Nurobod district into a spa sanatorium. The flagship of the domestic industry will continue developing the infrastructure for children’s recreation. Last year, NMSP built a water park in Zarafshan of Navoi region, and is intending to commission a similar park in Koshrobod district of Samarkand region this year.
Landscaping and beatification of children\'s health camps goes ahead this year. New children\'s recreation camp Amudaryo Sohili on 200 beds will be built in the Surkhandarya region. Children\'s health camp Bogishamol in Andijan region, Beshbulok Surhon-Sherobod in Surkhandarya, and Avtomobilchi in Khorezm region will be reconstructed as well.
* Uzbekkino Agency is currently working on two feature films that reveal the facets of women’s devotion to family values, their role in sustaining the family hearth, as well as the professional establishment of women in the society.
* The National Broadcasting Company is getting prepared to produce a TV serial on the role of parents in creation of a healthy family, nurturing children in the spirit of mutual respect, kindness and love.
* Jointly with social partners NAEMM will create more than 50 social videos to be aired on television and radio.
* Festivals and workshops on goals and objectives for 2015 will be enriched with photo and art exhibitions.
* Mass media will cover the progress of 88 initiatives under the national program in specialized programs
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)