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Better Woman and Child Health Development in Uzbekistan

  • Project Name: Woman and Child Health Development Project
  • Region/Country: Central and West Asia/Uzbekistan
  • Sector and Themes: Health
  • Year: 2004-2012
  • Project Leaders: Nargiza Parkhatovna Talipova
Better Woman and Child Health Development in Uzbekistan
Infectious disease is one of the causes of health vulnerabilities among pregnant women and newborns in Uzbekistan.

The project was the first to develop a series of evidence-based clinical guidelines for the management and prevention of complications that cause maternal mortality.

—Klara Yadgarova, head, Main Department of Maternal and Child Health Care, Ministry of Health in 2004–2009

Development challenge

In Uzbekistan, infectious diseases, poor use of contraceptives among women, and reduced iron deficiency anemia among pregnant women resulted in health vulnerabilities for women and newborns.


Together with the government, ADB and the World Bank jointly developed complementary projects to support primary Health Care and health financing in Uzbekistan. These efforts complemented ongoing health projects and tapped the expertise and activities of the United Nations and bilateral agencies already involved in maternal, newborn, and child health.

ADB’s support focused on strengthening decentralized woman and child health services; strengthening finance, information, and management; building a blood safety program; and improving project management. The Woman and Child Development project aimed to strengthen the primary Health Care system and first referral network for women and child health. The government worked on reconstructing maternal care facilities, the World Bank supported building and upgrading primary care centers, and ADB focused on equipping women and child health facilities. The project also introduced a national blood safety program and supported restructuring of the blood transfusion supply system. The project also supported the development of a local network in the Ministry of Health with establishment of a data processing and ICT center.

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Training Health Care professionals at all levels is critical.

Knowledge products and services delivered

The project recognized that training Health Care professionals at all levels was critical to the project’s success. The project provided clinical guidelines for Health Care practitioners and developed a nursing degree program. It upgraded the curriculum for nurses and doctors to international standards; trained more than 3,500 women and child health specialists at training centers; and delivered courses for 20,000 primary Health Care nurses. It trained 1,870 national, provincial, and district specialists in blood safety in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Since 2004, Uzbekistan’s mortality rates have fallen by more than 37%, while for infants the rate has fallen by more than 33%, mostly due to improved perinatal and neonatal care services. The project also established six regional blood transfusion centers with modern equipment and facilities. Today all blood samples are screened for infectious diseases before transfusion, compared to only 60% in 2000.

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The project helped upgrade the curriculum for nurses and doctors to international standards.

Lessons for Replication

The project provides important lessons about strong commitment by government as well as close donor collaboration in complementing each other’s efforts in ongoing health projects and tapping upon peer sectoral expertise. The project also emphasized the criticality of training Health Care professionals at all levels in the use of new equipment and the latest methods in maternal and child Health Care for effective implementation and delivery of similar health projects.

The ADB project has contributed to a policy change in maternal and child health in line with the WHO recommendations… The improvement of the obstetric service became the foundation for the organization of perinatal centers and the regionalization of perinatal care in the republic.

—Asomidin Kamilov, former deputy minister of health, Uzbekistan