Aknur lives with her husband, three children and father-in-law in the village of Baharden, 2-hour drive to the west from Ashgabat. When her father-in-law got sick, they thought that it is a mere cold. However, three weeks later, they could not find a relieve. Through her job Aknur attended an information session led by representatives of the Red Crescent Society of Turkmenistan, Women’s Union and a TB specialist from the TB hospital. During the information session, Aknur learned what tuberculosis (TB) is and how the disease exhibits its symptoms. She was worried that her father-in-law might be TB-positive and approached the TB specialist and asked for help.
TB specialist called a TB doctor on duty in the area and Aknur’s father-in-law was sent to undertake lab tests for TB. It turned out that Aknur’s father-in-law undertook TB treatment in 2015, but only his doctor and his wife knew about it. When the man got sick and started coughing and having fever again, he did not want to go to the media hospital. Aknur insisted on lab tests and medical checkup and her father-in-law was diagnosed with TB again.
In 2018, the National Red Crescent Society of Turkmenistan, the Women’s Union of Turkmenistan and the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan have signed a joint working plan conduct an information campaign to raise awareness of the population on TB and other infectious diseases, promote healthy lifestyle and well-being through information sessions with special focus on women. The sessions are open for men also, who already exhibit interest in learning more about their health and weeb-bieng of their families.
These information sessions allow medical workers to talk to people about TB and its symptoms and ensure immediate access to the TB specialists who provide instant consultations, take notes of the raised questions and, where possible, take immediate action on the spot by putting potential patients in touch with the doctors as it happened in case of Aknur.