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News

22.11.2013
2012 Tajikistan Demographic and Health Survey the launch of the main report results

The 2012 Tajikistan Demographic and Health Survey (2012 TjDHS) National Dissemination Seminar was held on 20 November, 2013 at the Dushanbe Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Head of the Department of Health, Family and Women Affairs of the Presidential Administration Lola Bobokhojaeva; United States Ambassador Susan Elliott; USAID/CAR Regional Mission Director, Ambassador Jonathan Addleton; Director of the Agency for Statistics under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Bahtiya Muhammadieva; the First Deputy Minister of Health Saida Jobirova; the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Office Assistant Representative in Tajikistan Aziza Hamidova; representatives of the U.S. Department of State as well as experts of the various ministries and departments, international organizations and media attended the opening ceremony marking the release of the 2012 Tajikistan Demographic and Health Survey main report.

Director of the Agency for Statistics under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Bahtiya Muhammadieva said that it is her pleasure to present the 2012 Tajikistan DHS final report for users of statistical data, and as the National Director of the survey she expressed her gratitude to the Government of Tajikistan for their support and assistance during the survey process, to the United States Government and to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), represented by Ambassador Susan Elliott, for financial and technical support of the survey, to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Tajikistan for additional funding provided to the survey, to the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Tajikistan for their consultations and training of the Agency for Statistics staff, and to the employees of the statistical system of the Republic of Tajikistan for their active participation in and contribution to this work. She also noted that over 200 staff members from the Statistical Agency under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, departments and units of the Agency as well as from the State Leading Information Centre, participated in the survey: 43 staff members carried out a household listing and mapping operation, 100 enumerators collected the survey data, and 30 data entry operators and editors and 2 programmers completed the data processing.

Head of the Department of Health, Family and Women Affairs of the Presidential Administration Lola Bobokhojaeva, on behalf of the Government of Tajikistan, expressed gratitude to the United States Government, namely the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Tajikistan for financial and technical support of the survey, and also expressed her gratitude to staff members from the Statistical Agency under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Ministry of Health for timely implementation of the survey and release of the findings.

Lola Bobokhojaeva reiterated that one of the main goals of the Republic of Tajikistan is to ensure beneficial conditions for the country s population, which is stressed in almost every speech of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, honorable Emomali Rahmon. 

Ambassador Elliott stated, "No decisions or plans can be made without data. The USAID-supported Demographic and Health Survey provides decision-makers in the Government of Tajikistan and our international partners with reliable and up-to-date statistics related to the health status of the population.” She further noted, “I encourage the DHS results to be used in evidence-based decision-making, helping the Government of Tajikistan and development partners alike to design the best programs for the populations most in need.”

The First Deputy Minister of Health Saida Jobirova in her speech noted that the problems of maternal and child health are among the priority areas identified by the Government of Tajikistan. Children determine the future of the nation and are the treasure of any country. The Ministry of Health has made great efforts to improve the health of the population, in particular of mothers and children. Since independence, a number of international documents, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1993) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women were ratified. Legal aspects of protection of the population s health are also reflected in the principal documents of the Republic: the laws of Tajikistan, and national strategies and programs and clinical protocols. The Republic is furthermore committed to achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

It was noted that national priorities to improve the health and development of children and adolescents are based on the seven areas of action of the World Health Organization at the global level in the field of Child and Adolescent Health: maternal and newborn health, nutrition, communicable diseases, injuries and violence, the environment, adolescent health, psychosocial development and mental health.

Maternal and child mortality in Tajikistan remains high, representing one of the main problems of the health sector and its partners.

Analysis of the situation shows that currently in Tajikistan access to maternal, child and adolescent care is not sufficient due to several reasons, the main –ones being: inadequate funding, weak and ineffective health care system, low level of the population awareness, insufficient analysis of the quality of services, and a low-level of monitoring and evaluation.

Contributing causes of death are part of the socio-economic situation, which makes it difficult to combat premature and avoidable mortality.

Improvement of the national economy through the application of measures to reduce poverty, along with the restructuring and modernization of social programs, including the improvement of socio-economic conditions in the country, are important steps towards the improvement of health services and, subsequently, of people s health. As a result of targeted interventions, a downward trend in infant and maternal mortality emerged and continues until present.

Infectious diseases are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the period from conception to adolescence. Acute respiratory viral infections and diarrhea are among the main causes of preventable and treatable morbidity and mortality among children in Tajikistan. An increase in the incidence of parasitic diseases, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted infections and HIV among the target population is of particular concern.

Effects of malnutrition are seen mostly among infants and young children and its main manifestations are stunting, developmental delays and increased susceptibility to diseases compared with their peers. Since in Tajikistan the problems of malnutrition and micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals) deficiency among mothers and children were and still are extremely relevant, the Ministry of Health and the UN Children s Fund (UNICEF) in 2009 conducted a national study on the nutritional status of mothers and children in Tajikistan. Those results showed a decrease in the overall levels of acute and severe malnutrition compared with previous data (2003), while rates of breastfeeding- especially exclusive breastfeeding which contributes to the prevention of these conditions- were at low levels. 

The 2012 Demographic and Health Survey show the state of many indicators of maternal and child health, the impact of hazardous factors, nutritional status, and shortcomings, and compares the results with previous studies.

Further, the First Deputy Minister of Health noted that today we need to familiarize ourselves with the final results of the study which, in further collaboration across sectors, and with international and non-governmental organizations, will enable us to develop a specific action plan to improve the health of mothers and children in Tajikistan. She also expressed her gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, the Agency for Statistics under the President the Republic of Tajikistan, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for their support and understanding.

The main 2012 TjDHS results were presented by Abduvali Kulov, the 2012 TjDHS Technical Director, Head of the Department of Demographic Statistics, Employment and Social Statistics; Tatyana Gukasova, Secretary - Assistant Director of the 2012 TjDHS ; Elena Budnikova, Deputy Chief of the Demographic Statistics, Employment and Social Statistics; experts from the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Tajikistan: Sherali Rakhmatulloyev, Head of the Organization of Health Services for Mothers, Children, and Family Planning; Sanavbar Rakhmatulloyeva, Chief Specialist; Gulchahon Tumanova, Director of the National Center for Reproductive Health; Uzokova, Chief Specialist in Obstetrics-Gynecology; Zuhro Norlyaminova, Head of the Department of AIDS Prevention Center; Turkov, Deputy Director of the National Centre for Immunization.

The following key findings were presented:

One important objective of the 2012 TjDHS was to measure the level of and trends in mortality among infants and children under age five. Information on levels and trends in mortality in these age groups are central to an assessment of the demographic situation in Tajikistan and quality of life in country.

For the five years preceding the survey (approximate calendar years 2008-2012), the under-5 mortality rate was 43 per 1,000 and the infant mortality rate was 34 per 1,000 live births. The rates are nearly twice as low as those in the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2005 (respectively 79 per 1,000 and 65 per 1,000 live births).

Survival probabilities for children in Tajikistan are considerably lower than levels reported in recent DHS surveys in several neighbouring countries; for example, infant mortality for the five-year period prior to the survey was 13 and 14 per 1,000 live births in the 2010 Armenia DHS and 2007 Ukraine DHS, respectively. On the other hand, survival probabilities for children under age one in Tajikistan are better than those reported in the 2010 Afghanistan Maternal Mortality Survey (55 per 1,000 births), the 2006 Azerbaijan DHS (43 per 1,000 births), and the 2006-07 Pakistan DHS (78 per 1,000 live births).

The 2012 TjDHS shows that the total fertility rate (TFR) for the three-year period before the survey is 3.8 children per woman. The TFR for rural areas (3.9 births per woman) is higher than that for urban areas (3.3 births). Compared with recent fertility estimates from Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in other countries, the TFR of 3.8 births per woman in Tajikistan in 2012 is lower than in Afghanistan (5.1 births per woman in 2010) and Pakistan (4.1 births per woman in 2006-07), but higher than in Azerbaijan (2.0 births per woman in 2006) and Armenia (1.7 births per woman in 2010).

The proportion of births in Tajikistan assisted by a health professional (87 percent) and the proportion of births that take place in a health facility (77 percent) are similar to those in Azerbaijan in 2006 (89 percent and 78 percent, respectively). Compared with estimates from the 2010 Armenia DHS, namely, the proportion of births assisted by a health professional (almost 100 percent) and the proportion of births that take place in a health facility (99 percent), these estimates for Tajikistan are considerably lower.

Access among the population to improved drinking water sources increased in Tajikistan from 57 percent in 2000 to 76 percent in 2012. Mobile phone ownership increased from 11 percent of households in 2005 to 93 percent in 2012. Computer ownership has also expanded, from 1 percent of households at the time of the 2005 MICS to 12 percent in 2012. Household ownership of cars/trucks has almost doubled since the 2005 MICS survey when 17 percent of households reported owning a car or truck compared with 31 percent in 2012.

The 2012 TjDHS, a nationally representative sample survey funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), was conducted by the Agency for Statistics under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan in coordination with the Ministry of Health.

The purpose of the 2012 TjDHS was to collect national and regional data on fertility and contraceptive use, maternal and child health, childhood mortality, domestic violence against women, and knowledge and behavior regarding tuberculosis, HIV infection, and other sexually-transmitted infections. 

The survey collected data from more than 6,400 households and interviewed over 9,600 women aged 15 to 49.