Perzent--Karakalpak Center for Reproductive Health and Environment


P. O. Box 27
ul. Sharafa Rashidova 39a
742012 Nukus
Tel: 7-55-17 (Ataniyazova), 6-46-44 (Kuzmin)
Fax: 7-68-13
Contact: Oral Ataniyazova, M.D., Director and Founder; Artik Kuzmin, Deputy Director

"Perzent" means "progeny" in Karakalpak. Oral Ataniyazova is a gynecologist who also obtained a Ph.D. in medical science in Moscow. For her research, Dr. Ataniyazova studied about 5,000 reproductive-age women in Karakalpakstan. Her findings were so alarming that in 1992 she founded the first Karakalpak women's clinic for reproductive health: the "Marriage and Family" Clinic.

In 1997 the clinic, which rents out five rooms from the government hospital in Nukus, consulted and treated 1,300 patients with a variety of sexual and reproductive problems. The center has developed an environmental education program for 200 pupils of Nukus schools, published brochures and booklets on health and on the relationship between health (particularly reproductive health) and the environment, and maintains an environmental library open to the public. It created the Ecological Club "Shagala" to provide environmental education programs in rural areas. Together with the Save the Children Fund it started an environmental education program for 5-6 year old children.

Center Perzent publishes a monthly newsletter in both the Russian and Karakalpak languages, and distributes it to all Central Asian republics. This newsletter features articles on local NGOs, educational programs, and legislation that affects women. The newsletter also contains translations of materials from various international organizations and a column that answers questions from readers on issues such as pensions, stipends and labor laws.

Perzent has carried out research on health and the environment issues in cooperation with local and international institutes and NGOs. Examples include:

Center Perzent is currently engaged in developing environmental health indicators for the Aral Sea region together with the World Resource Institute (USA) and in other health research together with Dutch universities and laboratories. The center provides medical consultations to women on reproductive system pathologies at an independent women's clinic and is developing an STD laboratory with Mercy Corps International.

Perzent has helped set up "health desks" in five towns and villages of Karakalpakstan, where local specialists give information and advice on health and environment problems to the local population. It has also distributed humanitarian assistance through this network.

Recently, Perzent has helped set up a local demonstration farm of 20 hectares where organic vegetables and other produce will be grown (a) to supplement the meals of children and mothers of the district and (b) to test specific salt-resistant and soil regenerating crops and investigate possibilities for local food processing and marketing.

Perzent's international partners include Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF), headquartered in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and WEDO, Women's Environment Development Organization, based in New York. Perzent has 18 employees and more than 500 members.

Last updated:    November 1998

A print version of much of the information contained in this Central Asian Third Sector Organizations section can be found in Civil Society in Central Asia (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999).

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