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2009.05.06

* UNICEF: Improving care for mothers and newborns in Uzbekistan
* Asset Duration: 02 min 54 secs
* Shoot City: Ferghana and Tashkent
* Shoot Country: Uzbekistan
* Shoot Date: 26 Mar 2009


Maftuna Yakubova is overjoyed with the birth of her baby boy at the Perinatal Center in Ferghana in eastern Uzbekistan.


Maftuna delivered her first child here 5 years ago. She says last time she was given many injections. It was also painful to deliver lying down and she did not know she could breast feed her child after birth.


SOUNDBITE: (UZBEK) MAFTUNA YAKUBOVA (26) MOTHER
"A relative was close to help me and I liked using a delivery chair to give birth."


Progress has been made, but infant mortality in Uzbekistan remains high. Through a six-million dollar program, UNICEF and the European Commission are helping Uzbekistan's hospitals and health workers to attain modern international standards in maternal and new born care.


Umida Makhmudova is just recovering from a caesarian section. Her new born daughter is benefiting from direct skin to skin contact after birth - a recently introduced practice in Uzbek hospitals.


Umida says she'll name her daughter Durzoda, meaning pearl, because she's suffered two miscarriages in the past.

SOUNDBITE: (UZBEK) UMIDA MAKHMUDOVA (33) MOTHER
"My doctor from this hospital was advising me even before I became pregnant. She then monitored my progress all the way throughout my pregnancy."


Across the country some 12-thousand health care providers are receiving training in newborn care and child survival.


Along with establishing 17 new training centers, international experts are sharing their knowledge with senior pediatricians, obstetricians and neonatal specialists in Uzbekistan.


In turn doctors, nurses and midwives in regional hospitals are beginning to be better trained and equipped to deal with birth complications and can save more lives.


SOUNDBITE: (RUSSIAN) Dr Malika Usmanova - Training Coordinator
"In Uzbekistan we still have areas where modern techniques are not practiced so it's important to have an exchange of experiences."


Helping hospitals to maintain accurate WHO defined statistics on live child births and causes of death will also enable Uzbekistan's health services to plan for the future.


UNICEF and the European Commission are confident that these evidence-based, low cost measures will have a high impact on maternal care as well as newborn and early child survival in Uzbekistan.

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