Today was that kind of a day where I had one thing after another after another and there is more to come as I write this. The tempo is picking up with our PDP classes and I am very proud of my students for listening very attentively to our guest speaker, Hanaa Singer from UNICEF. My students asked excellent questions from their Kazakh educators point of view and I just watched it all happen. Of course, Hanaa, is a remarkable speaker and she knew how to draw out a good discussion and relevant comments from her audience.
So much information that Hanaa gave us starting with a five minute movie that shows photos of beautiful children, the most vulnerable part of any population the world over. Then she gave information that is close to her heart regarding Kazakhstan’s issues and then a slide show that showed more statistics to make her points. This proved a good example for my PDP students who will have a chance to share their findings and readings from their final research paper in their 15 minute ppt presentations which they will give in about a month.
For now, let me just write down just a few things that struck me about what Hanaa shared with us. There were many more things but this is the good news/bad news concerning Kazakhstan.
The good news:
Infant mortality rate decreased since 2008 from 21% to 17%
Under age 5 the mortality rate dropped from 23% to 19%
Maternal mortality rate dropped from 37 in 2009 to 23 in 2010 per 100,000.
When I heard Hanaa speak last spring, she spoke of Kazakhstan being second to Russia concerning suicide rate among 15-19 year old Kazakhs. That has changed now according to her statistics. Kazakhstan has moved ahead of Russia and this is not something to be proud of. Suicide deaths and large numbers of them that are avoidable deaths are never something that is healthy for a nation. Especially a young developing nation like Kazakhstan.
According to her graphs, she showed that Kazakhstan had over 30 suicide deaths per 100,000 of males and almost 20 suicides for females, almost 50 of 100,000. Whereas Russian had 40 with 30 males/100,000 and 9/100,000 females. Lithuania had 30 suicides out of 100,000 and Estonia with 27 and Turkmenistan with 25 next. About 20 countries were represented in this graph. What’s interesting is that there were less male suicide in Turkmenistan than in the other higher countries.
We discussed this as a group and it was thought that suicides are happening in Kazakhstan among rich families where the child gets everything materially but they are not shown love by their parents. Also, Hanaa suggested that there have been many cases of bullying amongst this age group of 15-19 year olds.
Very sobering subject. I think I’ll try to find more baby photos tomorrow that I meant to post earlier. Over and out.