US government helps reduce tuberculosis cases in Tajikistan


DUSHANBE (TCA) — The United States Embassy in Dushanbe jointly with Tajikistan’s Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population and the Republican Center for Protection of the Population from Tuberculosis on July 16 hosted an event to celebrate accomplishments of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Tuberculosis (TB) Control and Challenge TB programs in Tajikistan during the last five years. The event highlighted U.S. government contributions to reduce TB cases and deaths in the country, the US Embassy said.

USAID Tajikistan’s Acting Country Director, Tajikistan’s Deputy Minister of Health, government and public health officials, representatives of international and local civil society organizations, healthcare providers, and former TB patients from across Tajikistan participated in the event.

The USAID TB Control and Challenge TB programs in coordination with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population served to support the implementation of Tajikistan’s National TB Program by providing more effective and accessible TB prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. The main objective of the $13.2 million USAID TB Control and $3.1 million Challenge TB programs was to reduce the burden of tuberculosis in Tajikistan and prevent multidrug-resistant forms of the disease.

Over the past five years, the USAID TB Control Program and Challenge TB Project reached over 860,000 people in communities across Tajikistan with key TB information and TB testing and treatment support. Furthermore, they trained nearly 3,500 healthcare providers and community workers on the latest approaches to TB prevention and care based on patient needs. The programs also implemented the electronic TB Register — a powerful tool for health providers and managers who can now, with minimal resources, collect accurate data to monitor, evaluate, and improve TB care and prevention services across Tajikistan. Forty districts covering 70 percent of the country received new treatment, and shorter regimens. From December 2016 until the middle of 2019, the Challenge TB project enrolled over 500 patients to these regimens. Presently, more than 100 patients are cured and the remaining patients continue their treatments.

The USAID TB Control and Challenge TB programs are another example of U.S. government assistance that works in partnership with Tajikistan to improve the health of its citizens. USAID is the leading U.S. government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. USAID grant assistance to Tajikistan averages $30 million each year, of which approximately 30 percent is directed to healthcare.

Sergey Kwan