AKIPRESS.COM - In mid-July, the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan announced a “Month of Women’s Health,” a UNFPA-supported campaign that would raise awareness among women about the importance of maintaining their reproductive health.
The campaign encouraged women to visit their doctors, and spread the word about important, but underutilized, services such as cervical cancer screenings. Free cervical cancer screenings and reproductive health counselling were made available around the country throughout the month.
More than 130,000 women received a reproductive health consultation and cervical cancer screening. Nearly 100 were referred to oncologists for treatment.
The campaign also helped draw visitors to the country’s 94 'reproductive health rooms' – specialized clinics where people can receive sensitive and accurate family planning counselling, as well as other reproductive health services. Launched in 1997 with the support of UNFPA, the rooms also provide free contraception to at-risk women and girls.
At the end of the campaign, women were interviewed about their experiences. Most said the efforts had made them think differently about their reproductive health.
Public health experts hope these efforts have a lasting impact.