Support services for children with disabilities and their families in Turkmenistan

Ashgabat, 10 Мay 2017 –Together with Government of Turkmenistan, UNICEF continues to invest in strengthening the support system for families with children with disabilities. A national team of Early Child Development Specialists from the Education and Health sectors, and Representatives of the Non-Governmental Organizations were exposed to intensive training on early intervention services. The experts were from the Saint-Petersburg Early Interventions Institute, which is a non-government educational organization offering top-notch expertise in the area of early intervention both in Russia and internationally.

The capacity building sessions, are one of the series of training for trainers planned for 2017, aimed at preparing a team of the national master trainers knowlegabale about the establishment of quality early intervention services and programmes and policy interventions. The National trainers will further roll out the learnings on early childhood development (ECD) across the country.

The training on early intervention programmes is an important component in developing the emerging support services for vulnerable families, in addition to the ongoing policy work. UNICEF supports the Goverment in reforming legal basis, inter-sectoral agreements and national standards promoting the development of sustainable, quality and comprehensive early intervention services in the country.

“Accoring to UNICEF, brain research has demonstrated that it is imperative to provide supportive services for young children from birth to age three, including children with developmental challenges, who are usually the most vulnerable in a society. Children with disabilities are at greater risk of placement in residential institutes. The cost of institutionalizing children with developmental delays and disabilities far exceeds the cost of providing preventive and supportive child-centred  services for families with special needs children”, stated UNICEF Representative in Turkmenistan Shaheen Nilofer.

The Government of Turkmenistan puts a high priority on comprehensive policy for the wellbeing of all young children aiming at multidisciplinary coordination between health, education and social protection services for children aged 0-8 and their families. The National Concept on Developmental Pediatrics and Early Intervention, approved by the Government in 2016, sets a policy framework for implementation of the family support services across the country. Towards this, UNICEF supports high quality technical expertise to facilitate integration of inclusive and accessible approaches for families and children into the national system.

UNICEF accelerates a policy dialogue with the Government to develop coherent and coordinated work among Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and Medical Industry and the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection towards inclusive family support services. “Together we can ensure the best outcomes for children and families, especially for those at most in need through stronger cross-sectoral collaboration and partnerships. We cannot achieve sustainable results working on our own”, said one of the training participants from the Ministry of Education.


For more information, please contact:

Mr. Jepbar Bashimov

UNICEF Education Specialist

Tel: (993-12) 488352/55/57/58 (ext 309)


Ms. Ayna Seyitliyeva

UNICEF Communication for Development Officer

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Tel: (993-12) 488352/55/57/58 (ext 306)

Fax: (993-12) 488350






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