Kazakh President Honors Frontline Medical Workers Posthumously with State Awards

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed a decree to posthumously confer state awards to Oleg Isayev, the head of the anesthesiology and resuscitation department of Kokshetau hospital in the Akmola region and Kalikhan Kozbagarov, the head doctor of Aktobe infectious disease hospital on July 13.   

Kalikhan Kozbagarov and Oleg Isayev.

Isayev and Kozbagarov were awarded posthumously the Hero of Labor of Kazakhstan with the award of the special distinction – the Gold Star and Otan (Homeland) Order for outstanding merits and dedicated services. 

Doctors, heads of hospital departments, infectious disease specialists in regional hospitals and medical centers, nurses, paramedics, orderlies, personnel and drivers of ambulance stations were also posthumously granted with the Barys, Parasat and Kurmet state awards for exemplary performance of duties and selfless service to patients. 

Isayev, 53, died on July 10, 2020. Since 2000, he worked in the Kokshetau city hospital and headed the department of anesthesiology and resuscitation from 2006. Isayev was a doctor of the highest moral character. He was the best professional in healthcare and one of the ten best resuscitation anesthetists in the country.

“He always devoted himself to work. He worked day and night to save peoples’ lives. He saved hundreds of lives. From the first days of the pandemic outbreak, Issayev and his colleagues were working to save people’s lives. He immediately agreed to be at the forefront and help people when a provisional hospital was opened and spent more than 12 hours in the hospital. Issayev deserved this award because he gave his life to save others,” the medical staff of the Kokshetau hospital wrote in the Akmola news website. 

Kozbagarov, 59, worked in healthcare for 36 years. He died of pneumonia on July 10, 2020.

Kozbagarov headed the regional hospital, which treats severe coronavirus patients from the first days of the pandemic in the region. He was a capable organizer and a competent leader. 

Colleagues remember him as a brilliant doctor, a leader and a good person. 

“When he became ill, we began to be worried about him. The last two days he felt better and we were so happy. He asked for kumis (a fermented mare’s milk) and we decided that he was recovering, and everything would be fine. But he passed away after 16 hours. He was devoted to his work. He visited patients twice a day and took care of everyone. But he couldn’t save himself,” the medical staff told the regional news source Diapazon. 

July 13 was declared the day of national mourning in memory of the victims of the coronavirus pandemic in Kazakhstan. As of July 14, 375 people have died from COVID-19 in the country. 

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