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January 30, 2014 
Second Kyrgyz Republic Demographic and Health Survey Shows Major Improvements in Child Survival


The Chairman of the National Statistical Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic and Minister of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic released the results for the 2012 Kyrgyz Republic Demographic and Health Survey (KgDHS). Demographic and Health Surveys are known as the gold standard in measuring national health, population, and nutrition status.

At the launch of the survey, the United States Ambassador in the Kyrgyz Republic Pamela Spratlen stated, “No decisions or plans can be made without data. The 2012 DHS provides decision-makers in the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, NGOs, and international partners with reliable and up-to-date statistics on the health and welfare of the population of the Kyrgyz Republic.”

The newly released survey, the second DHS in the Kyrgyz Republic, highlights a welcome a decline in infant and child mortality. The mortality rate for children younger than age five is 31 deaths per 1,000 live births, a dramatic decline from the rate of 72 deaths per 1,000 live births reported in the 1997 KgDHS. However, the report also shows persistent high rates of poor child nutrition with almost one-fifth of children in the Kyrgyz Republic under five being stunted or severely stunted. Stunting, which represents chronic malnutrition, varies around the country with the highest rates in Osh city, Osh and Batken Oblasts.

Ambassador Spratlen added that while the report highlights positive accomplishments over the past decade such as the significant reduction in child mortality, it also documents the prevalence of violence against women, where 25% percent of women who are married or have been married has been a victim of physical violence, often by their husbands and partners. “This is a hard fact to hear,” noted the Ambassador. “Still, making this information public is the first step to addressing the problem of domestic violence.”

For public health threats such as Tuberculosis (TB), according to the 2012 KgDHS, misinformation and stigma about the disease are common. Most women and men have heard of TB, know it is spread through the air, and that it is curable. Still, more than 60% of women and more than 40% of men think TB can be transmitted by sharing eating utensils and more than 30% think it can be transmitted through food. Almost 4 in 10 women and 1 in 10 men say they would want a family member’s TB to be kept a secret.

The 2012 Kyrgyz Demographic and Health Survey collected data from more than 8,000 households. Interviews were conducted with 8,208 women and 2,413 men age 15-49. The survey was conducted by the National Statistical Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. ICF International provided technical assistance through the USAID-funded MEASURE DHS program. Funding for the survey was provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with additional support from the United Nations Population Fund in the Kyrgyz Republic.

The 2012 Kyrgyz Republic Demographic and Health Survey is available at http://www.measuredhs.com/pubs/pdf/FR283/FR283.pdf