Infertility in Kazakhstani men a nationwide health problem
One of the pressing problems in the area of men’s health in Kazakhstan is the increasing number of infertile males. Meyrkhan Abdikasov, associate professor at the Kazakh Scientific Center of Urology named after Binesh Dzhambussynov, said the problem was high on the agenda, Tengrinews correspondent reported from the World Congress "Men’s Health, Quality of Life. Interdisciplinary approach" held in Almaty last week.
To a large extent, according to the expert, it is caused by the poor ecological situation in the country, unhealthy lifestyle of the population, increasing stress both at work and at home. Recent data shows that 15 percent of families in Kazakhstan are childless due to infertility. Half of these cases are related to health problems in men, Abdikasov said.
“This is the first time Kazakhstani urologists hold such an event – the congress. Finally the public has paid some attention to men's health. Men's health is not only about inflammatory diseases of the male genitalia, but also other types of disorders, including those in the cardiovascular, endocrine and hormonal systems. Therefore men's health requires a comprehensive approach," he said.
The speaker said that anywhere between 20 and 50 percent of men in Kazakhstan suffer from various disorders of sexual function. "This does not mean that 20-50 percent of men are impotent. This is incorrect to say. This includes various disorders, which may not manifest themselves this way, but still be present," Abdikasov added. Male infertility refers to a male's inability to cause pregnancy in a fertile female. It is commonly due to deficiencies in the semen.
His colleague, the director of the Scientific Center Mirzakarim Alchinbayev said there was a great difference between the state of men’s and women’s health in the country.
"Men live 12 years less than women. They go to see a doctor three times less often. They suffer from diabetes six times more frequently, from arterial hypertension three times more often then women. Even at birth, infant mortality among baby boys is three times as high as that among girls. (... ) In Kazakhstan, only 27 percent of pensioners are men. There are only 680,000 men in Kazakhstan above the age 63. Definitely, there is a problem and it must be addressed," Alchinbayev said.
The expert then reassured that the situation could be fixed. He said that there were centers of men's health and family longevity in all the regions in Kazakhstan. In 2013 they consulted and treated more than 6,000 men. Some patients were put on medical record.
Alchinbayev added that Kazakhstan and Russia were planning to create a single methodology for treatment and preservation of men's health in all CIS countries.
Professor and Director of the Scientific Research Institute of Urology of Russia Oleg Apolikhin supported the initiative.
"The great merit of Kazakhstan is in that it has put forward the idea to not simply treat men’s diseases but also prevent them. This is a fundamentally new approach. It is one thing to treat, conduct a surgery, prescript expensive drugs. To treat but not cure. It is completely different to prevent a disease. (...) Our new system envisions maintaining good health and preventing healthy people from getting sick. Therefore, we share this technique, and we will spread it throughout the CIS countries,” he said.
The Russian expert noted that this would require completely different clinics, hospitals and financing. Should the program be implemented, a unified system of standards and protocols will be put in place.
The Almaty Congress was attended by doctors from Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Germany, Holland, Israel, Belgium, Thailand, South Korea, USA, France and Indonesia.
Reporting by Vladimir Prokopenko, writing by Dinara Urazova