UNICEF joined the Ministry of Health and Medical industry of Turkmenistan in marking the National Health Day by organizing two workshops on benefits of flour fortification for stakeholders involved in flour production, and on infection control for specialists of the State Sanitary Epidemiological Service.
Turkmenistan is one of the eighty countries in the world that fortifies wheat flour with iron and folic acid, which costs around 10 cents per person per year. Flour fortification helps to reduce vitamin, mineral and iron deficiency which contributes to more than one-third of all deaths in children under the age of five; stunting of an estimated 195 million children under age five in developing countries; and undeveloped cognitive capacity, productivity and earning potential.
The workshops on flour fortification facilitated by UNICEF invited expert from the International Food Fortification Initiative (FFI) aimed at raising awareness of stakeholders, such as millers and flour quality assurance specialists, on the importance of using advanced technology for flour fortification, which ensures qualityassurance and allows food control authorities to better analyse flour for the added micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. The event also served as a platform to familiarise participants with the world best practices in food fortification and advocate for Turkmenistan’s strengthened monitoring of flour fortification programme.
The workshop on infection control led byUNICEF Regional Specialist on HIV/AIDS, aimed at informing key specialists of the State Sanitary Epidemiological Service on implementing effective strategies to prevent infection. These include staff training at all levels on healthcare associated infections, revision of existing infection control systems, and development of a system of surveillance and assessment of risks at the health facility level.
The workshop also covered the issues of continued and uninterrupted supply of commodities, reform of blood use system and decrease of medical use of blood and blood products, as well as the need to carry out a communication campaign to decrease overuse of parenteral treatment procedures. On the second day of the workshop, participants were presented with an interactive computerized training tool that can be used for self-learning, or in-class teaching tool at all levels of health care delivery, as well as for certification of health care providers.
Press Release – UNICEF office in Turkmenistan