The World Abaza Congress summed up the results of the project on medical examination of students and teachers of rural schools. The medical examination was organized by the WAC jointly with the Ministry of Health of Abkhazia.

Selma Bazba

The final trip in 2023 was carried out by the Congress team and a team of Abkhazian doctors to the Kutol Secondary School named after I.A. Kogoniia. About 150 students and teachers underwent a medical examination there.

Clinical examination traditionally consisted of two stages - blood sampling for a general analysis, glucose level and a medical examination with the results obtained.

The schoolchildren were examined by pediatricians Esma Gunia and Olga Bykovskaya, endocrinologists Svetlana Gazizova and Khamida Dzhikirba, ophthalmologists Anna Kove and Fatima Sangulia, cardiologists Inga Pipia and Saria Potskhor-ogly, otolaryngologists Lana Eshba and Ritsa Khalbad, neurologist Rosa Sinopyan, radiologist Aslan Berzenia, rehabilitation specialist Arzadin Agrba , as well as ECG nurses Raisa Borolovets and Emma Lamashova. In addition, students from Sukhum Medical College took part in the medical examination as assistant doctors.
During the examination, the schoolchildren were provided with medical advice and the necessary examinations were carried out. Students with identified problems were referred for additional research.

Head of the WAC Department for Education, Social Activity and Health “OSAZ - ed.) Izolda Khagba told about the trip to the village and summed up the results of the labor-intensive work carried out during the year.

“This year the project ended with a trip to the village of Kutol. Here we managed to examine about 150 students and teachers. During the year, it was planned to reach no more than 1,000 teachers and schoolchildren in remote villages for which access to hospitals is geographically difficult. However, we are pleased to note that we have surpassed this mark and conducted more than 1,500 examinations,” she noted.

Khagba expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Health of the republic for assistance in organizing the project.

“The first person we addressed when we were planning medical examination and received consent was the Minister of Health Eduard Butba. In further work, we collaborated with Deputy Minister Saida Delba and the chief specialist of the department of medical and preventive care of the ministry, Esma Gunia, who helped us in everything related to the organization of the work of doctors. This is a very labor-intensive process, since when identifying a doctor to travel, you need to be sure that the institution in which he works is not left without a specialist. It’s the same with technology – ultrasound machines or ECG machines. For example, in such big schools as in Kutol, it was necessary to appoint two specialists of each profile. We are very grateful for the assistance provided, without which the project would not have been possible,” said Khagba.

Results of the medical examination: the trip to Kutol completed the project of the WAC and the Ministry of Health in 2023
© WAAC / Selma Bazba

The head of the OSAZ department expressed special gratitude to the private centers that have already become permanent partners of the WAC in the project.

“We want to acknowledge the MedLife laboratory in the person of Larisa Akhuba and all the employees who prepared tests for us in the shortest possible time. We thank the ALBAMED medical center, represented by Albina Khodzhava, for participation in the medical examination and the equipment provided. Thanks to Nato Tarba for organizing a visit of students from Sukhum Medical College. Of course, many thanks to all the volunteers who took part in our project. Here I also want to mention all my colleagues in the Congress, regardless of which department of the WAC they work in, since a lot of work fell on their shoulders throughout the year. We must not forget that each of them has their own projects that require their attention. In other words, we can say that medical examination is a project into which all the employees of our office simultaneously put their soul and energy. However it is important that we received satisfaction from the project, because we felt its significance. And most importantly, we saw real results,” she added.

Khagba expressed hope for further close cooperation with all partners and the successful continuation of the project in 2024.
Pediatrician Esma Gunia emphasized the coordinated work of the World Abaza Congress and the Ministry of Health in organizing a comprehensive medical examination of students in rural schools.

“Since March 2023, the Ministry of Health, together with the WAC, has carried out medical examinations of the child population in the villages of Abkhazia. The medical staff included pediatricians, neurologists, ophthalmologists, otolaryngologists, urologists, cardiologists, and endocrinologists. An examination was carried out by a rehabilitation specialist, ECG and ultrasound examinations were carried out. Children over 14 years of age underwent fluorography. The project allows to promptly identify health problems in our children, and this is an important aspect for the Ministry of Health, in particular, and for our country, for protecting the health of the population in general, and children, as the future of this country,” said Gunia.

OSAZ specialist Naur Khishba summed up the results of the project, announcing statistical data on the number of students and teachers examined.

“Since March, we have managed to organize medical examinations for more than 1,500 teachers and students from 19 villages, of which more than 1,200 are students. In total, there are up to 11 thousand rural schoolchildren in Abkhazia, so we can say that the project covered about 11% of their total number, and this is a very serious indicator. About 80 medical specialists supported us. It is gratifying that most of those examined are practically healthy, that is, no serious pathologies have been identified, but there are some things that require attention and a little adjustment. At the same time, we are faced with a considerable number of cases that require serious monitoring by doctors and even surgical intervention,” he said.

Khishba noted that the health and well-being of the rural population of Abkhazia is one of the foundations for the future prosperity of our country.

“It is very important to discover the characteristics of human health in childhood. Here, the opportunities for rural children and parents are more limited compared to urban residents. It is especially difficult for large families to visit doctors regularly. From this point of view, medical examination of the population is very important at the state level,” Khishba shared.

The medical examination project is aimed at providing medical care to students and teachers of remote rural schools. The project has been implemented by the WAC and the Ministry of Health since March 2023. Within its framework, visits were made to 19 villages of the republic, more than 1,500 examinations were carried out, of which 1,200 were school-age children. The organizers plan to continue the project in 2024.