And we have another of the almost daily Daily Mail articles (couldn't resist
): Crown Princess Mary dons chic grey shift dress for Healthcare Ambassadors meeting | Daily Mail Online
Summary of articles in Billed Bladet #44, 2014.
Written by our Central-Asia correspondent the Ulrik Ulriksen.
This will be devided into two segments. First the overall summary and secondly pictures from the articles with captions so we can get an overview of what happened.
In her capacity as patron for WHO Mary went to Tajikistan last week, for a very busy visit.
After touching down in the capital Dushanbe, she went to the Foreign Ministry to say hi then it was on to the Varzon rehabillitation centre for children. because in 2010 Tajikistan, which before then had no polio cases, was hit by an epidemic and as such quite a number of children was afflicted with polio. Even though only about 1 % of those children afflicted nowadays develope paralasys there are nevertheless a number of children at the centre. The work at that centre is supported by WHO.
Mary stayed at the centre for an hour and a half.
Mary said afterwards: "It was terrible with the epedimic here in this country, which before 2010 was free from polio and which now again, thanks to the vaccination programme of the WHO, is free from polio.
Many children were afflicted but within the past three years a lot of progress has taken place in regards to treating and rehabillitation these polio-stricken children.
It was a very caring and dedicated staff who took care of the young victims of the epidemic. They do all they can in order to improve the life for these chidlren, whose fate has been so heavy and tough/harsh to experience. But there are actually little miracles taking place out here.
The health staff have been able to get chidlren who couldn't walk to get up and walk.
It strikes into your heart to see the children and at the same time you are joyed by seeing progress for several of the residents here". (*)
Apart from polio victims the centre also deals with children suffering from Down's syndrome.
While at the centre some of the children performed for Mary, including a boy with Down's syndrome who danced a folk dance.
In the evening she went to a gala dinner at Hotel Asia Grande, where Mary was the guest of honor. Among the hosts was the Minister of Health, Salimzoda.
The dinner consisted of traditional local cuisine and also vodka, however Mary contended herself by sipping some white wine.
Mary said about the state of affairs of Tajikistan: "Tajikistan is a poor country with a very tough history(**).
It's a country in developement and a country within the European region but it can also be compared with several African countries.
There has however been progress in regards to the mortality among mothers giving birth and in particular child-mortality. There are many positive signs that the healthcare system is beginning to work and perhaps resembling something we know from back home.
I'm impressed by the dedication their government show in order to ensure progress".
Mary also visited a local taekwondo-club where the young martial arts fighters demonstrated what they had learn.
A part of this particular part of the visit was to put focus on, well, basically wife-beating. That is a problem that exist in more than half of the families in Tajikistan!
There must also be a considerable problem with women and girls being attacked in public, since it is considered prudent that girls learn to defend themselves.
Later on Mary was appointed honorary-professor (the DK-expression) at Avicenna University for her work as patron for WHO. Mary then gave a brief lecture telling about the work she is doing as patron for WHO.
Mary said afterwards: "It's important to come out and see what is happening in the real world, because then you can better ensure that what you are talking about at meetings and on the rostrum is correct.
You can better form a picture of what can be done and what is done right already, when you are out observing reality.
It's people who matters and it's so nice to see that what we talk about at meetings in WHO happen in real life here in Tajikistan, even if there is a bit of road to go, before reacing the goal".
The trip ended with a return reception, where the Regional Director for WHO, Zsuzsanna Jakab, whom Mary has worked with for a long time, gave a speech praising Mary for the work she has done but also talking about the vaccination programme going on in the country.
(*) I was actually surprised to learn that there is still such a thing as polio-epidemics nowadays. I thought it had been virtually eradicated.
But this epidemics came from India. - Probably as a consequence of the health system breaking down in Northern Pakistan, through Afghanistan and into Tajikistan.
(**) You bet! Tajikistan has had a really hard time! The area was actually affluent, sitting right on the Silkroad, until some 600-800 years ago. But the Mongols, followed by Tamerlane left large parts of Central Asia completely devastated and it still hasn't recovered to this day. The Silkroad becomming superfluous during the Renaissance was the final nail in the coffin.