During the month of May, CDI Bishkek hosted a midwifery student (Abigail) and an experienced labor and delivery nurse (Kimberly) visiting from the US. The weeks they were here were packed with village trainings, CDI staff trainings, and observation and assistance at hospital births. The training they provided covered a broad spectrum of women’s health issues, including fertility cycle and family planning, menopause, breastfeeding and breast health, anemia, kidney heath, and nutrition.
One of the overarching themes was how the foods you eat impact your health, and that food can be your “medicine.” Some of the villages we visited don’t have a local pharmacy, so this was particularly welcome news. Several natural plant remedies are readily available in the village communities and participants were fascinated to learn about alternatives in health care.
In addition to the topics mentioned, we also shared about fitness, emotional health, spiritual health and how they also influence physical health. For some of the trainings we also provided a meal as an example of healthy, locally available foods. The trainings were well received in each village we visited. We connected with the local health committees and established a good foundation to continue building positive relationships with these communities in the future.
Kyrgyzstan is embracing the WHO recommendations for maternal and child health and is striving to meet the UN’s Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) but considering recent news about rising maternal mortality rate it seems there is still more work to do. We’re excited about how CDI’s women’s health projects can play a part in Kyrgyzstan’s aims, by working at the grassroots level and also in hospitals.