Thursday, 20, January, 2022

Today, Ms. Matilda Dimovska, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Uzbekistan, H.E. Mr. Yoshinori Fujiyama, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Uzbekistan and Mr. Yu Yu, Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Uzbekistan paid a visit to the Republic of Karakalpakstan.

The purpose of the visit is to meet with national partners, discuss prospects for further cooperation, get acquainted with the implementation of joint initiatives in the Aral Sea region, launch pilot facilities to improve the infrastructure of rural districts, as well as participate in the celebration of the International Volunteer Day. The mission was organized within the framework of the Joint UNDP-UNFPA Programme on "Building the resilience of local communities against health, environmental and economic insecurities caused by environmental destruction in the Aral Sea region", funded by the Government of Japan.

According to the visit agenda, the first meeting was held at a high level in the Jokargy Kenes of the Republic of Karakalpakstan with Mr. Murat Kamalov, Chairperson of the Jokargy Kenes. In her welcoming speech, Ms. Matilda Dimovska emphasized that UNDP looks forward to raise the ambition of joint engagement to support the implementation of the UN Resolution on the Aral Sea region – Zone of Ecological Innovation and Technology, thus ensure the sustainable development of the region. She thanked the Government of Uzbekistan, the Government of Karakalpakstan and the Government of Japan for support and joining hands in this important endeavor.

“I hope that this visit will serve as a standing point for further enhanced collaboration to jointly explore synergies and coordinated assistance to the Aral Sea region," concluded Ms. Matilda Dimovska.

International Volunteer Day

Representatives of the delegation took part in a festive event dedicated to the International Volunteer Day, which is celebrated annually on December 5. In general, 2,081 community health volunteers have been trained in Karakalpakstan within the framework of UNDP projects in 11 districts of Karakalpakstan. Today, they continue their activities with the financial support from the Government of Japan to raise awareness among the the population, in particular young people on health issues and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Many of the volunteers were active and helped in prevention of the spread of various diseases, including coronavirus infection during the quarantine for COVID-19 in 2020. They continued to consult by phone, online and through a group in the Telegram messenger, inquiring about the condition of their fellow villagers.

More than 100 volunteers from pilot districts throughout the region were invited to participate in the festive event, which took place at the Theater of a Young Spectator with the support of the Ministry of Health of Karakalpakstan. The most active of them received memorable prizes and gifts from representatives of the mission in five special nominations.

Facilities for the development of social infrastructure and support of entrepreneurial initiatives, Chimbay.

After the official ceremony, the delegation members left for the Chimbay district of Karakalpakstan to the pilot communities of the UNDP-UNFPA Joint Programme.

At the beginning of 2021, within the framework of the Joint Programme, a call for business innovative projects and ideas was announced. The application from the head of the "Ramazan Sarsenbaev" private enterprise was among the business project proposed for co-financing, with a solution for farmers for the long-term storage of large volumes of vegetables and fruits. In support of the business idea to ensure the food security in the region, a cold room was constructed and equipped in the district. Now the refrigeration complex is able to accommodate up to 100 tons of fruits and vegetables. Besides the working personnel was trained on the use and operation of the provided equipment.

Today, the launch of this facility took place, thanks to which over 112 thousand residents of the Chimbaysky district received access to fresh agricultural products at any time of the year. Similar projects were also implemented in the Bozatau and Karauzyak districts.

550 people live in "Koshkar zhykkan" community, "Mayzhap" village. Due to deterioration, the village water treatment facility was not functioning, and only an old well remained in its place. Local residents had to pump water from the ground and its quality did not meet the standards of sanitation and hygiene. The problem was voiced during the community mobilization workshop organized to identify the needs of rural residents and discuss development plans. With the support of the Joint Programme, the district administration and the residents themselves, initiated a large-scale work to implement the water project here.

As a result, the water treatment facility was completely reconstructed, water desalination equipment with a capacity of 8 m3/hour was installed, 4990 meters of water supply network were carried out. 68 households received access to clean drinking water.

Also, water supply networks with a length of 10,600 meters were carried out in the "Zhanamakan" of the rural gathering of citizens "Bakhytli" and in the makhalla gathering of citizens "Guzhimli" of the Chimbay district, which allowed to provide another 650 residents with clean drinking water without harm to their health.

Taking care of women's health

According to the official data, an average 1660 cases of cervical cancer being registered, and more than 800 women are dying every year. In Uzbekistan, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women of all ages after breast cancer.

As part of the implementation of the Joint Programme, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan received testing equipment, test systems and consumables for the detection of human papillomavirus (HPV). Testing phase is in progress in 10 pilot districts of the Republic of Karakalpakstan: Kungrad, Chimbay, Bozatau, Muynak, Karauzyak, Shumanay, Khodjeyli, Kegeyli, Kanlykol, and Nukus districts. During this period, 36% of women were tested, 5% defined as HPV positive and 1% of women were referred to the oncologists. HPV positive women will be further monitored in the medical facilities to prevent onset of cervical cancer.

During the meeting at the district multidisciplinary polyclinic in Chimbay, representatives of the mission got acquainted with the results of work in this direction. To date, 50 women who were treated, two women were referred to the oncology center in Tashkent for getting highly qualified treatment. More than 34000 young women and future mothers received anti-anemia pills. According to the laboratory tests, hemoglobin raised up to 10% in average among all patients enrolled to this activity.

Concluding the visit to Karakalpakstan, representatives of the delegation visited the Medical Institute of Karakalpakstan, to discuss the results of joint activities and promising areas of cooperation.

The UNDP-UNFPA Joint Programme on "Building the resilience of local communities against health, environmental and economic insecurities caused by environmental destruction in the Aral Sea region", funded by the Government of Japan, was launched in December 2019. Among the key tasks of the programme: 1) improving the quality of medical care in remote rural areas by strengthening their technical and institutional base, as well as 2) assistance in launching inclusive business initiatives to create sources of income, new jobs, as well as improving access to basic social services, including access to drinking water.

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