The people of Tajikistan’s Panjakent, Sughd Oblast [administrative division] have recently gained better access to health care, thanks in part to cooperation between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Tajikistan authorities.
On November 4, Necia Quast, Deputy Chief of the U.S. Mission to Tajikistan, Khisrav Abdunazarov, Panjakent’s Mayor, Deputy Minister of Health Sohib Rahmonov and representatives of the Sughd Oblast Health Department, opened the third Family Medicine Center of Excellence in Panjakent. The facility will provide modern, expert medical care to oblast residents. The clinic is a product of USAID’s ZdravPlus Project, carried out in collaboration with the Sughd Oblast Health Department and the Panjakent’s local administration.
Strengthening primary health care and introducing family medicine services are priorities for U.S. assistance to Tajikistan. Access to primary health care services promotes disease prevention by encouraging early detection and reduces hospitalization rates through effective management of chronic conditions.
Treatment of medical conditions at the primary health care level also reduces the need for referrals to expensive specialists saving valuable health care sector resources and reducing the cost of medical services for families.
This Family Medicine Center of Excellence is an important first step toward promoting the many benefits of primary health care in Panjakent as well as in the whole Zarafshon valley. Established as part of the City Health Center, the center will offer the community a package of quality medical services.
The Family Medicine Center of Excellence will also be used as a base for continuing medical education of health workers, and family medicine training. The availability of highly qualified family doctors is critical to the successful introduction of family medicine in Tajikistan.
The Ministry of Health recognizes that expansion of primary health care services across the country will require 4,000 family medicine specialists. This center will play an important role in reaching this goal. In October 2008, the first family medicine training program started in the Family Medicine Center of Excellence in Panjakent.
The USAID ZdravPlus Project is one of many assistance projects implemented in Tajikistan by USAID. Since 1993, the American people, through USAID, have provided about $300 million in assistance programs that support economic growth, democratic institutions, health care, and education systems in Tajikistan.