Kazakh President Reiterates Commitment to Equitable Healthcare on WHO’s 75th Anniversary

ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev congratulated the World Health Organization (WHO) on its 75th anniversary on Twitter, stating that Kazakhstan remains committed to providing affordable and equitable access to healthcare for everyone.

Photo credit: ortcom.kz.

April 7 is World Health Day, which is celebrated annually to mark the anniversary of the WHO’s founding in 1948.

“We applaud the organization’s tireless efforts to promote global health,” wrote Tokayev.

Kazakhstan has placed a high value on healthcare and its workforce. In his most recent address to the newly elected Parliament, the President named healthcare efficiency one of the top priorities.

Tokayev underscored the need to improve the country’s medical infrastructure by building more than 600 facilities in rural areas, modernizing and transforming district hospitals into inter-district multidisciplinary institutions with centers specializing in strokes, surgery, intensive care and rehabilitation units. The project is currently being implemented.

The President also noted that the development of telemedicine would allow residents of remote areas to have better access to qualified medical care.

He also focused on measures to increase the social status of health workers and the prestige of the medical profession, stressing that they must have legal protection of their rights. 

То improve the competitiveness of the domestic healthcare system, the President instructed to establish multidisciplinary facilities at medical universities and increase the number of grants for residency training by 70 percent.

Tokayev also spoke about the importance of promoting a healthy lifestyle, an issue he raised in his state-of-the-nation address in September last year. 

He emphasized the development of sports infrastructure to encourage citizens to get involved in sports, instructing his government to create conditions for children’s sports activities as well.

“Entrepreneurs and other citizens who invest their money in the development of mass sports and help to popularize a healthy lifestyle will receive the highest state awards,” he said.

According to the WHO, Kazakhstan is a long-term leader in implementing the primary healthcare program in Central Asia and the world. 

Kazakhstan’s largest city Almaty was the birthplace of the first declaration on primary healthcare – the Alma-Ata Declaration of 1978. It marked the first time that world leaders came together to recognize the importance of primary healthcare as a means of achieving health for all.

In 2018, the country’s capital also hosted the Global Conference on Primary Healthcare. 

Every year, Kazakhstan allocates approximately 30 billion tenge ($67.2 million) for immunization. The country’s vaccination schedule meets the best global practices, ensuring the nation’s epidemiological well-being. 

Kazakhstan entered the top ten countries with the highest percentage of reduction in maternal mortality rate, which remains one of the most pressing global health challenges.

Established in the wake of the Second World War in 1948, the WHO reminded that the world is at the confluence of health, economies, energy, food, and the climate crisis. 

With the 75th-anniversary theme Health for All, the WHO is urging us to look back at the public health achievements over the last seven decades that have improved people’s health, well-being, and quality of life globally.

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