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Healthy family starts with family planning. Couple should act together at this responsible process, and men should play an important role in maintaining the family healthy and respecting women's choices. We had a discussion with Akjemal Durdyyewa, Director of the National Reproductive Health Center of Turkmenistan about family planning and men’s responsibility for planning, as well as the existing services in Turkmenistan within the reproductive health system. 

“Family planning doesn't start after the marriage, it starts from adolescence," said Dr. Durdyeva.  "Health problems which haven’t been treated during puberty will start to show its impact after starting a family life. Reasons of infertilities originate from puberty period. Health problems which had arisen during continuous development of boys or girls reproductive systems at puberty are difficult to treat when they are adult”. Durdyyeva draws parallel between family planning and building a house, and says that any actions which have been planned lead to a better result. “Family planning is important for building healthy family and having healthy children. Child connects and brings unity to the family, creates steady future of it,” said the Director of the center.

Moreover, Director of the center mentions that main task of men for family planning in their families is to go through checkup on time; she also brought to attention that regular checkups of both in a couple should be carried out before they face any problems.

“Husband and wife are both responsible for reproductive health, which is why we ask to come to checkup together” she said. Continuing the topic on men’s responsibility in family planning, she mentioned “Boys and men should not have unprotected sex. They must protect themselves from STD. Condoms must be used. They have to go to andrologist if they had cold or any other health problems”.

Akjemal Durdyyewa also told that family planning will have good impact on family’s and country’s economic state. Durdyyewa specified that “If child is born healthy, he/she will grow up into healthy teen, mother will also be healthy. Thus directly leading to healthy society. If society is healthy, people are more productive and thus, they contribute to the economy of a country.  Healthy people also means less burden on the public health system.”

The National Reproductive Health Center of Turkmenistan is now located at the Mother and Child Health Centre in Ashgabat.  The velayat level reproductive health centers operate at the Velayat Center's Mother and Child Health Centers.  And each etrap house of health has a total of 95 reproductive health rooms countrywide where women and girls can come for a consultation. 

These rooms work for prevention of family infertility, different transmitted disease, and unplanned pregnancy, and also they provide four different types of modern contraceptives for women in the risk group. Akjemal Durdyyeva mentions that these contraceptives are fully provided by the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan since 2017 and that one of the main functions of above mentioned rooms is family planning counselling. "Goal of such action was not to reduce childbirth, but to improve a woman's health” she said.

“Our reproductive health specialists also carry out counselling services at factories, manufacturing yards, schools and mosques. We inform people that they should go to the doctors if they have such problems, that family planning has good impact” tells Durdyyewa.

Director of Reproductive health center shared that they work together with reproductive health rooms within andrology centers in order to prevent men’s health issues, and specified that they carry out counselling services for teens at schools and youth at military bases. Durdyyewa brought to attention that with the purpose of protection of men’s health the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan educated and trained specialists of urology and andrology, “Responsible uro-andrologists have been designated at all men’s reproductive health centers in welayats” she informed.

Akjemal Durdyyewa brought to notice that it is important to go to doctors on time, and at the end of discussions she advised men: “Use protection, go to doctors on time, and respect women rights and choices!”