Master's Students from Kazakhstan Extended Their Academic Knowledge in Vilnius

A group of the 2nd year undergraduate students from Karaganda (Kazakhstan) State Medical University were visiting the Faculty of Medicine at Vilnius University for more than a week on a bilateral cooperation agreement. They met with professors and lecturers from the Faculty, visited the Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Clinics, and deepened their experience at the Centro and Karoliniškės Polyclinics. At the Vilnius Public Health Bureau all urgent public health issues were introduced to the guests from Kazakhstan. They also had a possibility to visit the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania. The delegation was guided by prof. dr. Natalja Fatkulina, the director of the Institute of Health Sciences under the Faculty of Medicine at Vilnius University.

"Students from the University of Karaganda are now writing their master’s theses, with topics ranging from nursing and health care to health promotion and politics, so it was important to organize the agenda in such a way that they could get the most information possible and meet with the best researchers and specialists", said the director of the Institute Health Sciences dr. Natalia Fatkulina. Not only did she organize an intensive internship agenda, but also took care of the guests' cultural-educational program. "In my opinion, the most important thing was that our guests felt captivated by the achievements of our University's academic education and the country's health system," stated prof. dr. Fatkulina. Students also visited the historic places of Vilnius University: the ancient ALMA MATER auditoriums, the Library, the Museum, the Bell Tower of St. John‘s Church, the University courtyards. They also got acquainted with the sights of the Faculty of Medicine - the Museum of the History of Medicine, the Prosectorium of the Department of Anatomy, Histology and Anthropology and so on.

The future public health specialist Sejtchan Nurgul expressed sincere gratitude on behalf of the entire group to the dean of the Faculty of Medicine of Vilnius University prof. Algirdas Utkus, the rector of Karaganda State Medical University prof. dr. Raushan Dosgambetova, the director of the Institute of Health Sciences of the Faculty of Medicine at Vilnius University prof. dr. Natalja Fatkulina and to all professors, scientists and specialists who devoted to them their attention and time. "Public health sciences in Kazakhstan are in their early stages. Only a few years ago Public Health Departments were established”, said Sejtchan Nurgul. "Here we understood that public health sciences are very important in Lithuania. In your beautiful country we have always felt the attention paid to promotion of healthy eating habits or prevention of harmful habits everywhere: from the Public Health Bureau to the daily life of people."

Aidar Userbajav gathered a lot of additional material in Lithuania, which will help him write the master’s thesis in the future: "Lithuania has made a huge progress in children's health care, I hope to use all knowledge gained to analyze the differences in health development between Lithuanian and Kazakh children." Olga Zorin liked the way nursing processes are organized in Lithuania: "In our country the level of nursing is not as high as in your country, but, hopefully, through our fruitful cooperation, we will make a lot of changes."

Saltanat Serikova, a future specialist of nursing, also devoted much attention to communication with nursing staff. She was interested in polyclinics’ policy in the field of health care resource management. Saltanat is from the Akchiatau settlement, where exiles from Lithuania have lived for a long time. Some of them still live in Kazakhstan until this day and they remember the warmth of the Kazakh people who saved them with "curts" (curd, salt and hay mixture, thrown over the labor camp's fence). "I am glad that I saw a wonderful land – Lithuania. We really like your people, they are extremely patriotic, friendly, love their homeland, they are proud of the independence and the fact that Lithuania has turned 100 years this year," said Saltanat Serikova.

Karaganda State Medical University, established in 1950, is the leading medical university of Kazakhstan in training qualified personnel for the healthcare system, has high reputation in the fields of education, science and medical and diagnostic services. Bilateral co-operation agreement was signed between Karaganda’s University and Vilnius University that forms the basis for constant exchange of teachers and students. Furthermore, the joint efforts of the two countries in order to develop international health sciences and put in practice all their innovations and achievements are of utmost importance in protecting the essential treasure of every country and person in the world – their health.