Habibe Marasulova was barely 14 years old when her parents decided that it was time for her to get married. The girl did not particularly resist, in her native village early become wives and mothers.
By today's 19 years, Habiba has three children and a “bunch” of diseases that need to be treated, but there is no money. This young gypsy girl earns a piece of bread by begging. Every morning and at any time of the year with a group of women and a bunch of kids, she is selected from the village of Yangi-Makhallya, located in the outskirts of Osh. In the regional center they spread through the streets, mini-markets. Some, like Habib with babies, at the busy intersections beg for alms, others for a nominal fee fumigate from the improvised burners of the car salons, the premises of the buildings with the scent of the grass that supposedly scares evil spirits away.
In the village where Habib lives, the lowest standard of living in the Osh region. The impoverished existence of a heavy burden falls on the shoulders of women, the most powerless and defenseless part of the two thousand people of the village.
“In primary classes, girls attend classes, showing an interest in studying, by the end of school there are mostly boys in classes,” states Gulcher Abdullayeva, head teacher at the nine-year school named after Mirzo Tursun-zade. - Our visits to parents are often unsuccessful. Fathers, and their voice is decisive in the family, believe that daughters after 10-11 years should be helped in the search for food, then get married.
“Early marriages, the pathology of childbirth, stillborn children are a common phenomenon in this village,” says Sairakan Jumalieva, head doctor of the regional center “Medical and Social Assistance to the Family.” - Together with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in the Osh region, we conducted research on family planning and reproductive rights. The most depressing picture looked in the village of Yangi-Makhallya, where the level of knowledge of adults and children about their reproductive rights is zero, most of the residents are not informed about healthy lifestyles, family planning.
Within the framework of this study, shocking facts were revealed not only in the mentioned village. It turned out that 80% of the residents of the three southern regions of the republic suffer from anemia, and the growth of endocrine pathology is high. It is not by chance that a group of deputies of the Jogorku Kenesh (parliament) of the previous convocation appealed to the government concerned about the state of health of Kyrgyzstan. The authors focused on a number of diseases that cover an increasing number of people and pose a threat to the country's gene pool. The leading places among the serious illnesses were acute iron deficiency and iodine deficiency. The impact of socio-economic hardship has led to an increase in maternal and infant mortality.
The letter of the deputies decided to publish only one of the Internet publications of the republic. The country's first health leaders did not allow the scandal to flare up, hurrying to submit official statistics. Of course, statistical indicators gave a different picture of the state of public health.
“The unfavorable tendency has been preserved even now, after the March events of the revolution, which exposed social and economic problems with particular urgency,” said Turgunbu Nasyraliyeva, responsible specialist of the maternity hospital of the Osh Regional United Clinical Hospital. - Low wages, high poverty levels continue to force women to work several jobs, which catastrophically affects their reproductive health: anemia among pregnant women in certain parts of the south of the country reaches 90%. Unhealthy woman gives birth to sick children. Every second child in the south is a carrier of a hereditary disease, and every second recruit for health reasons is considered unfit for military service.
Physicians qualify reproductive health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not just the absence of disease. And they consider the cause of many troubles not only the difficult situation that Kyrgyzstan has been experiencing for about a decade and a half, but also the ignorance of women, especially in rural areas, the lack of necessary information about family planning.
The law on reproductive rights of citizens, adopted six years ago, was intended to remedy this situation. According to the plan of those who developed and adopted it, its effect was to reduce the number of infertile marriages, maternal and child mortality, increase the number of planned births and the birth rate of healthy children, increase the intervals between births. From now on, a woman could not be forced into pregnancy, abortion, childbirth. The state promised to guarantee free of charge a minimum of reproductive health services. The responsibility of the family itself was also noted - it should engage in the sexual education of minors and prepare them for family life. The law provides for articles that are not yet applied in our republic: the right of surrogate motherhood, the right to donate and store the germ cells. But it was included in the legislation to make it the most complete, having already foreseen all the nuances of life.
However, it must be stated that due to the economic crisis, which has become permanent in the country, today's laws on health protection are declarative rather than doable. Family planning issues and reproductive function are still considered “inappropriate” for public comment due to cultural traditions, especially in rural areas. Abortions here remain the most common method of birth control. As a result, women suffer from chronic infections and other chronic diseases, for which there is no one to complain about. So, for example, residents of the highest mountainous region of the region - Chon-Alay, located at a distance of 350 kilometers from the regional center and accessible to the world only a few months a year, when the snow melts, only one obstetrician-gynecologist serves. Due to the lack of money and specialists, abortions are performed underground, which further increases the risk of disease and turns into a tragic ending. By the number of maternal mortality, the republic beats a sad record - the first place in the Central Asian region.
The UN Population Fund believes that the republic has the opportunity to periodically receive funds for national programs aimed at protecting the reproductive health of Kyrgyz people. The problem rests on the standards of national statistics, which greatly distort the real picture of the state of health in the republic. So, it is quite possible that domestic statistics have yet to change accounting forms. After all, for all its zeros and percentages are the joys and tragedies of human destinies, in the end, the fate of the country's gene pool.
Svetlana Gafarova wrote a good article. I always respected her, because she is a great journalist. But in the article it was necessary to emphasize that the above applies to Lyuli-Central Asian Gypsies. There is no need to make a parallel between the Gypsies and the indigenous nations of Kyrgyzstan — Kyrgyz and Uzbeks. And when Svetlana writes about the health of our women, I think it’s necessary to double-check.