Illness rate in Chechnya five-to-ten times higher than in Russia
By Timur Aliyev
NAZRAN, Ingushetia - The number of illnesses in Chechnya exceeds that of other regions in Russia by five to 10 times, stated Mussa Dalsayev, the republic's chief substance abuse and addictions officer.
He explains that this catastrophic situation is due to several reasons, one of which is the constant stress under which Chechens live. "There is something we call psychological burnout. One can be under severe pressure without being aware of it, and so eventually burns out."
Dalsayev also insists that the number of social diseases such as tuberculosis, mental disorders, drug addiction, alcoholism and HIV is on the increase.
He compares the current state of the health sector with the years 1991-95 when all services of the Chechen Ministry of Health lost state support and were later obliterated during military operations.
The doctor thinks that none of the medical facilities that are now being reconstructed conform to today's requirements; plus the amount of medical equipment available is practically zero, and the qualified medical staff on hand is insufficient.
According to Dalsayev, in order to improve the present situation a systematic reorganization of the entire healthcare system is needed. This consists of each hospital in the republic having a qualified staff and that the Chechen Ministry of Health must be continuously financed.
Timur Aliyev is Prague Watchdog's North Caucasus correspondent and also the editor-in-chief of the Chechen Society newspaper.