Skilled Doctors for Better Health

Speeches Shim

Friday, July 23, 2021
Dr. Sohiba Abdurakhimova with a newborn
USAID

Every obstetrician-gynecologist has one objective: to keep both mother and her baby healthy. Dr. Sohiba Abdurakhimova from Tajikistan is no different. She is in charge of the maternity ward of the central district hospital in Qubodiyon that serves as a referral facility for women with complicated pregnancies and births for the entire district and sees on average 5,000 births a year.

For several years, Dr. Abdruakhimova has been collaborating with donors on improving the quality of medical services for mothers and children. She benefited from several trainings that helped her strengthen her knowledge and develop practical skills through the continuous medical education opportunities.

“The latest training on the management of pregnant women in critical conditions, supported by the USAID Healthy Mother, Healthy Baby Activity, was especially valuable,” she says.  “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we haven’t received any professional training in the past year and a half but need to continue to deliver babies and often deal with complicated cases.”

The USAID Healthy Mother Healthy Baby Activity collaborated with the Church of Latter-Day-Saints Charities to host a series of virtual capacity development workshops, reaching 24 health providers in remote areas of Tajikistan, and for the first time, in the Qubodiyon central district hospital. The U.S.-based experts walked the participants through global best practices, protocols for management of complex maternal and newborn conditions, and equipped health providers with hands-on skills. During one of the sessions, Dr. Abruakhimova gave a presentation and facilitated a discussion on managing severe complications. As a result of this training, both obstetrician-gynecologists and midwives feel more confident in caring for their patients in a way that is fully compliant with new national standards.

Soon after the training, a 38-week pregnant woman was brought to the hospital with obstetric bleeding. The patient's condition was critical; the fetus was in danger too. Dr. Abruakhimova and her team reacted immediately: they set up an operating room, performed a C-section and saved both the mom and the baby. Dr. Abruakhimova sent a message to the trainers, “Thanks to the efforts of my entire team and the knowledge gained during your training on how to treat a pregnant woman with significant blood loss, both the mother and the child have been saved.” 

The virtual training boosted Dr. Abruakhimova’s skills -- now she can apply her advanced medical knowledge in daily work providing timely diagnosis, bringing quick and tangible care to pregnant mothers and babies.

“Before the USAID training I believed that I was a highly qualified doctor and knew enough. Now I understand that I had many misconceptions about our treatment protocols and approaches. Today, I believe in global evidence and power on knowledge. I consider myself a more professional and better skilled obstetrician-gynecologist who can keep patients safe and healthy.”

Dr. Abruakhimova can now also rely more on the maternity ward staff. Increasing the role of midwives in the decision-making process during childbirth and care for women is key in improving the quality of health care in rural areas, where midwives are mainly involved in pregnancy and childbirth.

The USAID Healthy Mother, Healthy Baby Activity works to reduce maternal and child mortality and malnutrition in the Khatlon Province.  

Last updated: September 17, 2021

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