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Nukus, June 14, 2021 - The training for medical personnel within the framework of the project "HPV testing for early detection of cervical cancer" in the Republic of Karakalpakstan has officially started.


The opening was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, representatives of the Republican Specialized Scientific-Practical Medical Center of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UNFPA, WHO, and medical workers of the republic.


According to Askarov Akmal, Deputy Minister of Health of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, “Globally, cervical cancer, in terms of morbidity and mortality among oncological diseases, ranks second after breast cancer. We are glad that the Government and representatives of UNFPA and WHO drew attention to the problems of women's health in the Republic of Karakalpakstan. We welcome and hope that everyone's efforts will help our women to improve their health."


The training is part of the joint UNDP-UNFPA Program “Building Resilience of Local Communities to Threats to Health, Environmental and Economic Insecurity in the Aral Sea Region”, carried out with financial assistance from the Government of Japan.


The project involves training 45 gynecologists, 150 family doctors, 270 visiting nurses and 77 primary health care midwives in the Republic of Karakalpakstan to conduct HPV testing to determine early-stage changes in the cervix among 50,000 women aged 39 to 55 years. The training is conducted by highly qualified specialists from the Republican Scientific and Practical Specialized Center for Obstetrics and Gynecology of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan.


Earlier, in January 2021, within the framework of this program, equipment and test systems for the detection of human papillomavirus (HPV) were supplied. In particular, 8 testing equipment and 50 000 test systems were procured for the Republic of Karakalpakstan, financed by the Government of Japan. With support from UNFPA, 2 additional testing equipment and 6 000 test systems were purchased in the city of Chirchik, as part of the joint UNFPA-WHO cervical cancer screening programme in Tashkent region.


Equipment and test systems based on GeneXpert and are aimed at effective detection of oncogenic HPV types, contributing to early detection of cervical cancer and prevention of its further development.


Mr. Yu Yu, UNFPA Representative in Uzbekistan, noted three important elements that will strengthen the implementation of this project, namely, voluntary participation, the quality of the services offered, and access to treatment. He highlighted that ‘’more screening will result in more patients identified at different stages of cervical cancer, hence significantly increasing the demand for cancer treatment services. This will need strong preparedness of the Ministry of Health to get the treatment capacity strengthened to meet such increased demand.’’


According to E. I. Basitkhanova, Deputy Minister of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan, “It is expected that the results of this project will help the Ministry of Health to formulate the National Strategy to address the issues of cervical and breast cancer, using the best practices, new techniques and the most optimal methods of early detection of oncological diseases. "

This program demonstrates the results of successful cooperation of UNFPA with the Government of Uzbekistan and other international partners, aimed at improving the health of mothers and children, in line with the goals of the State Program.


UNFPA, the United Nations Reproductive Health agency, has been working in Uzbekistan since 1993, and is currently implementing its fifth Country Programme (2020-2025) together with national partners.