For the first time since independence in 1991, one of Kyrgyzstan’s regions succeeded in reducing maternal mortality to zero: in the north-western Talas region, not a single woman died during 2012 while being pregnant or as a result of giving birth.
The UNFPA Country Office in Kyrgyzstan has contributed to this success by training health care providers in the Talas region on effective perinatal care with a focus on emergency obstetric care and antenatal care. UNFPA experts also provided practical on-the-job exercises and trained health promotion specialists on educating local communities, including village health committees, about reproductive health issues.
"During 2012, over 800 cases of potentially life-threatening complications such as eclampsia or haemorrhage were successfully treated in the Talas region," said Meder Omurzakov, UNFPA’s Assistant Representative in Kyrgyzstan. "This clearly shows how the capacity of health care providers has increased over the past years."
At the national level, however, Kyrgyzstan is still well behind target on reaching the Millennium Development Goal of reducing the maternal death rate by three quarters. The maternal mortality ratio was at 49.7 per 100,000 live births in 2012, three times higher than the target of 15.7.
"Decisive and concerted action is needed to replicate the Talas success story across the entire country and get Kyrgyzstan on track for meeting its maternal health goals," stressed Meder Omurzakov, UNFPA Assistant Representative.
UNFPA is contributing to these efforts through a comprehensive multi-year programme focusing on improving maternal health and increasing access to reproductive health services.