Tajikistan has the highest infant and maternal mortality rates among countries of the CIS region. Malnutrition and waterborne diseases are other serious challenges across the country, in particular in rural areas.
The breakup of the Soviet Union led to the collapse of Tajikistan’s free healthcare service – a service characterised by a costly hospital based model and little attention to preventive and family medicine. Tajikistan’s government has now defined a National Health Strategy, which aims, by 2020, to move the country towards a family medicine model, offering affordable primary health care throughout the country.
Switzerland is supporting this reform in a number of ways, among them by working with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection to develop family medicine services. Re-training and support is being offered to health professionals, along with assisting in the necessary rehabilitation of primary health care facilities. In addition, advice is being provided on how to finance health services in an efficient and transparent manner. So far, the family medicine system has been introduced in 11 out of 58 districts, benefiting some 1.2 million people. During the next four years, the model will be extended to 11 new districts, allowing an additional 1 million people to benefit from better access to health care services.