We have managed to obtain the data from one of the medical treatment facilities. They speak of serious health problems among the younger generation of Turkmen residents.
Below are the data from the Department of Children's Neurology of the medical centre named after Saparmurat Niyazov in Ashgabat for the first quarter of 2013.
During the first three months of 2013 some 638 children aged 0 to 16 underwent treatment in this department.
The following diagnoses were recorded:
- children's cerebral palsy – 247
- residual encephalopathy – 214
- perinatal encephalopathy – 51
- neuritis – 22
- congenital diastrophic displasia – 21
- after effects of neuroinfection – 20
- convulsive disorder – 19
- hydrocephalus – 12
- after effects of meningoencephalitis – 8
- cerebropathy – 8
- Down's syndrome – 5
- microcephaly – 4
- meningoencephalitis – 4
- encephalitis – 3
These are official statistics. It should be noted, however, that the expression "official data" in Turkmenistan does not mean that they are accessible. Our colleagues had to make some efforts to obtain this information.
The aforementioned statistics apply only to one department (the department of neurology) for one quarter. If these data (taken into account that not all parents can bring their children to the capital, especially from remote rural areas) are extrapolated to the number of all medical facilities which admit children with severe diseases, a very alarming situation unfolds, characterizing the "quality" of the country's new generation.
According to a healthcare practitioner from this clinic, there are several reasons behind these diseases: – "One or both parents are drug-addicted, parents are close relatives, malnutrition in many households and environment pollution. We, medical doctors, are trying to make the life of these children easier, in other words we can influence only after effects of the aforementioned causes".