ASTANA – Latif Parpiyev, a 35-year-old dedicated children’s rehabilitation doctor, receives an average of 10-12 children with serious diseases every day. His primary focus is on children up to two years old, as he strongly believes early intervention leads to the most favorable outcomes. In an interview with The Astana Times, Parpiyev opens up about his journey, methodology, and the meaningful volunteering projects he undertakes.
Parpiyev has dreamt of becoming a doctor since he was four. In a twist of fate, the future doctor spent the first 12 days of his life in intensive care and was at risk of getting brain damage due to neonatal jaundice. Fortunately, with timely intervention, the danger was averted. It was through his mother’s account of this experience that Parpiyev found his calling, choosing to dedicate his entire life to the medical profession.
After graduating from the Akhmet Yassawi University in the Turkistan Region, he began a residency at the Astana Medical University, specializing in radiotherapy. He decided to explore the field of pediatric massage, discovering a new passion beyond his initial specialty.
“After one year in this field, I realized that I wanted to work in children’s rehabilitation,” Parpiyev said. Upon passing all the required qualifications, he started working with children.
He noted a significant gap in the early diagnosis of cerebral and other neurological diseases in Kazakhstan. In the majority of the cases, the diagnosis is determined by the age of 1.5 to 2 years.
“These 1.5-2 years are the golden period. The later the diagnosis is determined, the harder it is to rehabilitate a child,” he said, explaining his decision to focus on children of this age category.
There are several early childhood rehabilitation techniques for children under the age of two, he added. He elaborated his own methodology for such children based on several methods he was familiar with.
“Early intervention after birth and till two years increases the chance of success up to 40%,” he explained.
Parents of children with cerebral palsy, orthopedic, neurological pathology, congenital malformations of the brain, and congenital malformations of the broncho-pulmonary or cardiovascular system turn to Parpiyev’s expertise. All these conditions affect the physical development of children.
His practice achieves remarkable rehabilitation results, which the doctor shares on his social media account.
One such case occurred when he was approached by the parents of a six-month-old girl who had endured a stroke, resulting in right-sided hemiparesis. Over the next year, he worked 10 days per month with the child.
“Usually, the recovery rate for patients with hemiparesis is maximum 70-80%. However, in this case, I managed to restore the functions of the right hand and right leg by 95%. She is now four years old, and when her parents send me videos of her, I see her run like all healthy children,” he said.
In some situations, Parpiyev’s role extends beyond that of a medical practitioner. He often finds himself playing the role of a psychologist, offering support and guidance to parents confronted with heartbreaking realities about their children’s conditions.
Besides being a doctor, he was chosen three times as the best volunteer in Kazakhstan. He said a volunteer “does not always have time, but has a heart.”
Driven by a deep commitment to sharing knowledge and empowering others, Parpiyev spearheads two impactful initiatives – the Early Rehabilitation volunteering project and the School for Parents.
The project on early rehabilitation foresees onsite advanced training of medical personnel, while the School for Parents project provides offline and online lessons for parents on early children’s development and intervention.
As part of the project, over 30 masterclasses for medical personnel and parents were held across the country. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he provided more than 3,000 free online consultations for parents.
He noted that his YouTube channel, which includes videos on early development and early intervention, is in demand by parents not only from Kazakhstan but also from other Central Asian countries, Europe and Russia.
Parpiyev also serves as a volunteer at the Best for Kids public fund on social adaptation of children post-orphanage life and is a member of the Dari Dobro (Give Good) initiative group, which helps children with oncological diseases. He plans to continue volunteering in these projects.