“Imagine the action of a vaccine not just in terms of how it affects a single body, but also in terms of how it affects the collective body of a community.“

Eula Biss


Dear Friends,


Vaccinations are very important for improving population health and increasing lifespan. However, common misconceptions about vaccinations along with fraudulent reports on the association of vaccination with autism and other serious conditions could be blamed for the anti-vaccination movements in developing and developed countries (http://www.who.int/vaccine_safety/initiative/detection/immunization_misconceptions/en/). This trend could have potentially hazardous implications for public health as was demonstrated by the 2014 measles outbreak in USA, despite the fact that measles was announced to be eliminated there in 2000. 70% of the measles cases were reported be either unvaccinated or having unknown vaccination status. Decreasing rates of immunization caused by the distrust of medical institutions and doctors could be a common theme preventing parents from immunizing children across geographic borders. Alarming reports of adverse effects resulting from BCG vaccine in 2005 and measles vaccine in 2015 are resulting in higher vaccination refusal rates in Kazakhstan. While WHO and World Bank report 99% coverage with measles vaccine in 2014, in 2015 the Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development of The Republic of Kazakhstan report 97% immunization rate for the country. While the situation in Kazakhstan calls for more attention from the policy makers, immunization rates in the neighboring Afghanistan are of concern and fall below 60% for several diseases. World Bank reports 66% measles immunization rates, which is lower than WHO recommended 95% to create herd immunity. Few cases of adverse effects reported from Afghanistan in 2015 were followed by a correction program which minimized the community impact to the acceptable level. Despite the progress in the last decade, vaccine-preventable diseases are still a major cause of child mortality in Afghanistan. The infant mortality rate of 45/1000 live births has been reported by DHS in 2015 which is much higher than neighboring countries. In addition, Afghanistan is still one of the two countries suffering from the circulation of Wild Polio Virus. Total of 20 polio cases were reported in 2015, and 5 more cases were reported in 2016. Poor access and refusal, particularly in the eastern part of the country, are the two major reasons for failing to immunize each child under 5 years of age. Though from various reasons both developed and developing worlds experience surge in vaccine-preventable diseases, which underlines the importance of immunization as the primary barrier between smallpox-ridden past and infectious disease free future.


For further information on immunization in Kazakhstan, as well as other important health issues please read the article “Public Health Challenges and Priorities for Kazakhstan” published in our journal:

“The Republic of Kazakhstan is one of the largest and fastest growing post-Soviet economies in Central Asia. Despite recent improvements in health care in response to Kazakhstan 2030 and other state-mandated policy reforms, Kazakhstan still lags behind other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States of the European Region on key indicators of health and economic development. Although cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of mortality among adults, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and blood-borne infectious diseases are of increasing public health concern. Recent data suggest that while Kazakhstan has improved on some measures of population health status, many environmental and public health challenges remain. These include the need to improve public health infrastructure, address the social determinants of health, and implement better health impact assessments to inform health policies and public health practice. In addition, more than three decades after the Declaration of Alma-Ata, which was adopted at the International Conference on Primary Health Care convened in Kazakhstan in 1978, facilitating population-wide lifestyle and behavioral change to reduce risk factors for chronic and communicable diseases, as well as injuries, remains a high priority for emerging health care reforms and the new public health. This paper reviews the current public health challenges in Kazakhstan and describes five priorities for building public health capacity that are now being developed and undertaken at the Kazakhstan School of Public Health to strengthen population health in the country and the Central Asian Region.”


What do you think about Public Health challenges in your country? Please see the full text article and many others in the link below: http://cajgh.pitt.edu/ojs/index.php/cajgh/article/view/30/47


For more research on health issues in Central Asian and around the globe please visit the page of our journal (http://cajgh.pitt.edu/). Reading and publishing in our journal is absolutely free!


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Central Asian Journal of Global Health is a biannual journal aimed at everybody working in the fields of public health and medicine. Specifically, it aims to focus on the geographic region that is oftentimes not sufficiently highlighted by existing journals, Central Asian countries. In addition to research in Central Asia, the journal is opened to submissions from other countries.  It provides forum for discussion for all aspects of public health, medicine, and global health in Central Asia and around the world. We welcome contributions from established researchers, especially those working on cutting edge questions, but we are also keen to act as a supportive environment for new investigators and with those who never published in English language journals. 


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Best wishes,

Faina Linkov, PhD


Central Asian Journal of Global Health



Shalkar Adambekov, MSc

Central Asian Editorial Board,

Central Asian Journal of Global Health



Najibullah Safi, MD, MSc. HPM

A/Director General of Preventive Medicines

Chair of CCM Executive Committee