DUSHANBE/KONIBODOM, September 22, Asia-Plus - On Thursday September 21, the USAID Country Director for Tajikistan, Ms. Carolyn Bryan, along with the Konibodom City Mayor, Mr. Emin Sanginov, the Director of the Aid Coordination Unit within the President’s Executive Office, Mr. Muzaffar Ishoqov, and the Representative of the Sughd Health Department opened the first Center of Excellence in Family Medicine (CoE) in Sughd province.  

According to the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe, the Center opened as a result of mutual partnership and cooperation between the USAID-funded ZdravPlus Project, the Sughd Oblast Health Department and the Hukumat of Konibodom City.

The strengthening of primary health care (PHC) and the introduction of family medicine services are priorities supported by the Ministry of Health’s Concept of Health Reform and the National Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper.  Access to PHC services promotes disease prevention by encouraging early detection of diseases and reduces hospitalization rates through effective management of chronic conditions.  Treatment of medical conditions at the PHC level also reduces the need for referrals to expensive specialists, saving valuable health sector resources and reducing the cost of medical services for families.

This Center of Excellence in Family Medicine is an important first step toward promoting the many benefits of primary health care in Konibodom.  

A source at the Sughd Health Department said, “ Established as part of City Health Center, the CoE will offer the community a package of quality medical services to population of the Konibodom district and also will be used as a base for continuing medical education of the health workers and family medicine training not only for Konibodom but for the whole region as well.” 

The availability of highly qualified family doctors is critical to the successful introduction of family medicine in Tajikistan.  The MoH recognizes that the expansion of PHC services across the country will require the availability of 4,000 family medicine specialists.  This CoE will play an important role in reaching this goal, and the process of family medicine training already started here earlier this month.  It is hoped that some of the doctors who are currently training as family medicine specialists will themselves become Family Medicine Trainers, training family medicine specialists in Konibodom and in other districts of the Sughd province.

The city of Konibodom needs 40 family medicine specialists, and the district 120, according to the source.