For Women and Children in Rural Tajikistan, Health Volunteers Are a Crucial Link to Care

By Khosiyatkhon Komilova,
Communications specialist
March 07, 2019
They're retirees, health workers, mothers-in-law, and more—and they're perfectly positioned to find the families most in need.
Momakhol Bobokalonova’s father forbade her to study past the seventh grade.
“Tajik mentality does not encourage girls to study,” she says. “But activism and communication skills have always been in me. When I was asked to become a volunteer with the Feed the Future Tajikistan Health and Nutrition Activity, I was already 60 years old—no one could stop me.”
Momakhol is one of about 2,000 volunteers with the IntraHealth International-led activity, known as THNA for short. They include retirees, teachers, health workers, village and jamoat (or town) chairmen, religious leaders, mothers-in-law, housewives, and the most authoritative personalities in the villages. Their goal is to help improve overall health and nutrition in Tajikistan—particularly for women and children in the Khatlon oblast, the most populous administrative region.