Environmental Factor, August 2005, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Clinical Staff Hosts Public Health Officials from Kazakhstan
By Colleen Chandler
Two public health officials from Kazakhstan toured the NIH Clinical Center and met with Fred Miller, head of the NIEHS Environmental Autoimmunity Group, as part of a professional exchange program.
U.S. Embassy representatives in Kazakhstan selected the participants to look at environmental health based on interest by the U.S. government in supporting environmental health programs in Central Asia, said Elisabeth Wilson, State Department staffer who coordinates the program in Central Asia.
Yeldos Izatullayev, vice president of the Hospital and Clinical Division of Kazakh National Medical University, and Kazbek Tulebayev, general director of the National Center for Problems of Healthy Lifestyle in the Ministry of Health, were among 38 people nominated by U.S. Embassy representatives for exchange programs on a number of topics, including environmental health.
The visit to NIH was part of a three-week program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The International Visitor Leadership Program is one of several professional exchange programs that allows foreign officials to meet with a number of local, state, and federal officials to see first-hand how the United States deals particular issues.
Wilson said the two Kazakhstan officials were selected because their positions allow them to introduce new methods and practices to professionals, government and non-government organizations in public health and environmental management in their country. Kazakhstan is facing a number of environmental challenges such as water quality and environmental contaminants, a legacy of the Soviet system, she said.
The Department of State arranged meetings with U.S. officials that would expose the Kazakhstan officials to these processes:
- Ways of improving environmental management methods and reduce human health risks in polluted areas
- Promote responsible human health attitudes connected with environmental conditions through the introduction of socio-medical programs
- Minimize environmental policy expenditures in urban areas through environmental health risk management methods
- Promote public participation and resource optimization within U.S. communities through the dissemination of environmental health risk information.