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Ashgabat’s Perinatal Clinic demand that parents pay before providing medical assistance to a three-year old child

As hot weather sets in in Turkmenistan, cases of children with gastro-intestinal infections become more frequent. However, there is a shortage of basic medications as well as first aid systems in the hospitals, and public health authorities do not conduct any awareness-raising campaigns or prevention measures among residents, correspondents of “Chronicles of Turkmenistan” report.

The situation in the capital is illustrated by the case of three-year old Saparmurat Maksadov (see the cover photo), who had a high temperature, was nauseous and vomited on 7 May. At 3 p.m. his parents called the ambulance. The family lives at: ul. Ch. Bairyeva, 5, apt. 20, Ashgabat. The parents waited for the ambulance for an hour to no avail. Because the ambulance had not come, the parents took the child, whose condition was deteriorating, to the Emergency. “B” block of the Perinatal Centre After examining the child, a doctor referred the family to A “block” for further examination.

Before starting treatment, doctors first asked parents to pay a fee of 40 manats despite the fact that children are examined and treated free of charge. Then the mother was tested for COVID-19 and the parents were asked to bring three catheters and four I.V. sets.

The father asked doctors to give his sick child an injection or to administer an I.V. They refused saying that the parents first needed to bring the required equipment.

Realizing that no medical assistance would be provided, the parents took the child home. It turned out that the ambulance had still not arrived even by 7 p.m.  Later they received a call from the emergency medical service informing them that the ambulance was on the way.

At 9.30p.m. staff at the Perinatal Centre called the parents and asked them to pay for a COVID-19 test.

Because the ambulance had still not arrived, the parents once again called for an ambulance at 4 a.m., which finally came. The child was given an injection and improved .

As “Chronicles of Turkmenistan” previously reported, executives encourage candidates applying for jobs in new hospitals to pay large bribes. Apparently, once employed healthcare practitioners try to recoup their investments by bribes or offering unnecessary services to patients.

Numerous cases of diarrhea among children aged 3 to 5, accompanied by high temperature, have been recorded in kindergartens of Mary and Lebap velayats. Correspondents of “Chronicles of Turkmenistan” report that pediatrics wards in infectious diseases hospitals are overcrowded.

Kindergarten principals report a dire public health situation to local education boards and healthcare departments and request action be taken. They are informed that they need to warn parents not to take children to kindergartens. However, not all parents have the opportunity to leave their children at home.

At the same time, the public health authorities do not fulfill their responsibilities and do not carry out services to purify water, disinfect kitchens, toilets and sewer systems in pre-school educational establishments.