Almas Junisbayev started with an overview of the history of pandemics. He described diseases and illnesses that have plagued humanity during the last centuries, how historically diseases were spread through military channels in Tsarist Russia and compared the measures taken by Tsarist Russia and European countries for combating diseases. Further, he focused on the Soviet healthcare system and how healthcare was constructed and maintained in the Central Asian republics. The main principles of Soviet medicine, the evolution of the healthcare system in Central Asia from the early 1920s, work of the People’s commissariat for public health, operation of Shymkent pharm factory, illustrations of hospitals and paramedic stations in Samarkand, Bukhara, to name but few were further presented to provide historical context of the development of healthcare in Soviet Central Asia.
Mr Junisbayev also distinguished the first five Kazakh doctors, who earned degrees in medicine and conducted the first practical and research work. By describing how reforms in medicine and healthcare impact the present developments in public healthcare, Mr Junisbayev emphasized the major features of public healthcare of Central Asian states. He also assessed their positions in the global rankings such as the Global Health Rank, Bloomberg Health Care Efficiency, as well analyzed their efforts in combating the current COVID-19 pandemic. In conclusion, he noted that although the current pandemic demonstrates the significance of research in medicine, there is still very little research done on the evolution of Kazakhstan’s medicine and healthcare. The majority of publications were written during the Soviet times, whilst interdisciplinary research working on the development of the local medical sphere is still absent in Kazakhstan. Hence, there is an urgent need to further investigate the historical context of medicine and healthcare of Kazakhstan and other Central Asian states.