US launches new effort to end drug-resistant tuberculosis in Kyrgyzstan

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BISHKEK (TCA) — At an official ceremony held on October 25 in Bishkek, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a new five-year, $18.5 million investment to support the Government of Kyrgyzstan’s efforts to end drug-resistant tuberculosis in the country, the US Embassy in Kyrgyzstan said.

During his speech, USAID Mission Director Gary Linden said that the new USAID Cure Tuberculosis Project “will work with the Kyrgyz government to improve the country’s healthcare system’s ability to diagnose, treat, and cure people with drug-resistant tuberculosis.”

In addition, because stigma and discrimination associated with the disease often prevent people from getting the services they need, the USAID Cure TB Project will address the issue with healthcare providers and the Kyrgyzstani public.

Kyrgyz Minister of Health Kosmosbek Cholponbaev, Deputy Head of the Social Development Department of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic Sanjarbek Isaev, and Chairperson of the Mandatory Health Insurance Fund Elnura Boronbaeva also spoke at the event.

According to Minister Cholponbaev, the Ministry will continue to work on increasing effectiveness of tuberculosis services in Kyrgyzstan to make it patient-oriented. “The U.S. Agency for International Development is the one of the key partners of the Ministry in implementing these tasks,” said Minister Cholponbaev.

The Kyrgyz Republic remains among the 30 countries with the highest burden of drug-resistant TB (DR TB) in the world, with 1,400 new cases of DR TB annually. This form of tuberculosis is harder to cure because it is resistant to standard drugs. The treatment can take up to two years.

The Cure Tuberculosis Project is implemented by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI) in partnership with University Research Co., LLC (URC)., and in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health and national partners.

Sergey Kwan

TCA