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Health challenges in Kazakhstan and Central Asia
  1. Shalkar Adambekov1,
  2. Aiym Kaiyrlykyzy1,
  3. Nurbek Igissinov2,
  4. Faina Linkov3,4
    1. 1Center for Life Sciences, Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan
    2. 2Central Asian Cancer Institute, Astana, Kazakhstan
    3. 3Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
    4. 4Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Magee-Women's Research Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
    1. Correspondence to Dr Faina Linkov, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 3380 Blvd of Allies, Room 307, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA, linkfy{at}


    The Central Asian region, which encompasses Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan, is an interesting geographic region with a rich history dating back to the Silk Road, Mongol conquests and expansion of the Russian Empire. However, from a public health viewpoint, the Central Asian region is under-investigated, and many public health challenges exist, as countries of Central Asia inherited the centralised medical systems practiced in the Soviet Union, and are currently undergoing rapid transitions. A large number of low and middle-income countries around the world, including countries of Central Asia, face a double burden of chronic and infectious disease. This essay focuses on the exploration of the most important public health challenges in the Central Asian region, including limited scientific productivity, the double burden of chronic and infectious disease, the need for healthcare reform and the reduction in care variation. Central Asia has a large number of medical schools, medical centres, and emerging research institutes that can be used to foster a change in medical and public health practice in the region.

    • Epidemiology of chronic non communicable diseases

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