Bread is the lifeblood of the Central Asian diet, so changes in the price and availability of wheat can have significant impacts on food security in the five Central Asian Republics and Afghanistan. In Tajikistan, for example, more than 50% of daily caloric intake comes from bread. While all the countries grow at least a little wheat, it is Kazakhstan—the world’s 7th largest wheat exporter—that occupies the central role in providing this critical staple crop to the entire region.
USAID’s Central Asian Energy Efficiency Support Program (CAEESP) is working to reduce greenhouse gas intensity and emissions by stimulating investments in energy efficiency technologies and programs. A key step towards industrial energy efficiency is the development and implementation of sound energy management systems, as developed under the ISO-50001 standard. An effective energy management system enables a company to follow a systematic approach to continual improvement of energy performance, including energy efficiency, energy use and consumption.
With the increasing strength of the Kazakh economy, international donor organizations are reducing support for many social assistance programs in the country. In response, the government of Kazakhstan has begun expanding funding opportunities for local non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
The USAID Quality Health Care Project is working with HIV prevention and treatment NGOs in Kazakhstan to help them receive a share of these funds. The Quality Project began by engaging government and NGO leaders in a process of identifying and overcoming barriers facing HIV-focused NGOs.
On July 4, 2012 Alexander felt weak and had a fever. The next day he went to the AIDS center in Almaty to get examined. Alexander is 28 years old. A drug user since the age of 20, he is also HIV positive. The AIDS center referred him to the city’s TB dispensary. TB often develops in people living with HIV and is the leading cause of death among HIV-positive people. Alexander was tested using the Xpert MTB/RIF system and diagnosed with MDR-TB. One week later, he was put on treatment and he is now feeling better.
Elite Honey LLP, based in Kostanai, Kazakhstan, keeps abreast of the latest news and business approaches in management, marketing, and logistics, and strives to be a top company in honeycraft. For this reason, in spring 2012 it was recruited by USAID’s Regional Economic Cooperation Project for its intensive training program.
Elmira Karashalova works as a nurse at the outpatient clinic in her small village in rural Kazakhstan where her main duty is to administer the daily medication needed for recovering tuberculosis (TB) patients to become fully healthy. When Elmira took over this duty, she often found it frustrating. “Patients do not always remember that they have to take medicine; do not come regularly and don’t understand the importance of TB treatment. At first I felt very annoyed and nervous; I criticized patients severely for being late and for missing visits.”
According to Kazakhstan National Medical University (KNMU) staff, classes in recent years are filled with a new kind of medical student. “The modern Kazakhstani medical student is highly curious, wants to expand his or her horizons, and has a thirst for change,” said Botagoz Turdalieva, Chair of Healthcare Policy and Management and Director of the Evidence Based Medicine Center at KNMU. The government of Kazakhstan and USAID are working together to chart a path toward instilling high-quality, evidence-based health care throughout this former Soviet Republic.
BEFORE: This child, born in Kyzylorda, weighed only 700 grams (24.69 ounces) when she was born in 2009. USAID supported the introduction of WHO live birth criteria and helped train neonatal intensive care units. Under the old criteria, newborns less than 1,000 grams were considered dead. Thanks to these new birth standards and USAID’s neonatal training, this child was given a chance at life.
AFTER: Since USAID assisted the Kyzylorda Health Department, survival rates for premature babies have improved by 14 percent.
Saida is an ordinary woman. She was born into a happy family in East Kazakhstan and got married after graduating from university. When she gave birth to her baby girl, she was sent for some x-rays. The outcome shocked Saida – she had TB in her right lung. She was afraid that her friends and family would turn their backs on her when they found out because there is a lot of stigma towards people with TB, and the treatment process is very difficult and isolating.