Download and mail to:
Word Services of La Crosse
1601 Caledonia St. Ste B
La Crosse, WI 54603
Please share our Web site with your family, friends, and colleagues who might be interested in our volunteer opportunities!
Tajikistan delegation looks to strengthen family medicine
Professionally speaking, Vali Kurbanov took home a lot of new knowledge from his time in the United States in October, but he may be most thrilled with the stack of business cards returning with him. Each card represents a new colleague and potential friend from the United States, someone who will help him apply what he learned here to make things better at home.
Kurbanov was one of ten delegates from Tajikistan who visited the U.S. last month on a quest to improve family medicine in the small central-Asian country that neighbors Afghanistan.
The exchange, organized by World Services, began at the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Global Health Workshop in Baltimore, Md., and then moved to Wisconsin for the remainder of the visit. Throughout, delegates developed several ideas for increasing both the availability and quality of family medicine in Tajikistan.
After days of meetings, information sharing, demonstrations and practice sessions with a number of Wisconsin organizations, Kurbanov says he felt a little daunted by how dated the equipment is in Tajikistan, but he is committed to adapting what they learned to the resources they have.
One of the ideas he’s most interested in exploring at home is the role of nurses. “While getting acquainted with the job descriptions, we found that the majority of the jobs here are done by the registered nurses while the physicians are monitoring the activity. In our case, it’s the opposite.”
Kurbanov, who heads the Vahdat Family Medicine Training and Clinical Center in Tajikistan, says he’s already exchanging emails with people he met in the U.S. “We now have contacts with students, residents, physicians, all levels of family health care.”
Kurbanov said his biggest surprise—and perhaps most important new knowledge on a personal note—was the hospitality he encountered. Everyone, he says, from the professionals he met to his home hosts, enthusiastically welcomed the delegation.
“We did not expect that level of hospitality,” he says. “The attitudes, the attention and treatment we received by adults and even kids was so positive. It changed my view of Americans.”
The three week exchange was sponsored by the Community Connections Program, managed by USAID’s Bureau of Economic Growth and Trade (EGAT)/Office of Education and administered by World Learning. Community Connections is designed to promote public diplomacy through the exchange of cultural ideas and values among participants, U.S. families and local community host organizations. It seeks to establish and strengthen links between U.S. communities and communities in Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
Special thanks to Mayo Clinic Health System, Franciscan Healthcare and its Family Residency Program and to the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Department of Family Medicine for all your help with our Tajikistan delegation.
World Services of La Crosse is a non-profit organization that works on connecting communities by connecting people. Through offering in-country consultation services or by hosting foreign professionals, we focus on developing programs, people and leaders who can make a difference in their community. In providing an opportunity to bring people from different countries together we hope that the experience will change their view of one another. Our belief is that by connecting communities you can create bridges to building peace because people make the difference.
World Services programs are strategically aligned with global partners in order to build and sustain a more secure and prosperous world.