ASTANA – Lyazzat Aitkozhina, one of Kazakhstan’s 100 New Faces, is a devoted gynaecologist and fertility specialist who helps women experience the joy of motherhood through in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).
“I love my job and I believe being a doctor is not simply a professional choice; it is a gift from God. It is not enough to be knowledgeable, because the most important [thing] for a doctor is a kind heart, dedication and a sense of responsibility. Our job is not limited by a working schedule; a doctor always remains a doctor,” she said.
Born in the East Kazakhstan region, Aitkozhina started her career in AbaI District Hospital after graduating from Semey National Medical University in 2004. Later, she worked in Semey before moving to Almaty in 2008.
Aitkozhina aspired to become a fertility specialist and in 2013 started working at the Institute of Reproductive Medicine (IRM) in Almaty. She treats infertility using reproductive technology, where some and sometimes all stages of conception and embryo development take place outside the woman’s body. She also conducts examinations with genetics specialists prior to implantation to ensure the embryo has no genetic diseases.
“There is a saying that a doctor has three weapons: a word, a plant and a scalpel. I prefer a word and believe that humanity should be above all. I have encountered many people with different problems, but I always try to listen to all of them. I sincerely want to help my patients and when one gets pregnant, I also feel happy,” she said.
Each month, Aitkozhina treats more than 600 patients, not only from Almaty and Kazakhstan generally, but also from Hungary, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
She advocates for more government subsidies for IVF. On average, 20,000 of 140,000 couples marrying in Kazakhstan each year struggle to conceive a child; however, there are only 900 IVF quotas.
“The effectiveness of reproductive medicine technology in IRM increases each year. While only two or three women out of 10 managed to become mothers seven years ago, now 70 percent of cases are successful,” she added.
Aitkozhina started travelling to the regions in 2015, where she examines and consults with women free of charge. She is also thinking of launching a television programme and dreams of establishing a foundation assisting needy women who want to become mothers.