US supporting treatment of tuberculosis in south Kyrgyzstan

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BISHKEK (TCA) — The United States, through the “USAID Defeat TB Project,” has partnered with the Ministry of Health of Kyrgyzstan to provide tuberculosis treatment to patients on an outpatient basis in the southern Jalal-Abad oblast, the US Embassy in Kyrgyzstan said on March 1.

This approach, which does not require patients to stay for months in TB hospitals and instead allows them to access treatment at local hospitals, helps ensure patients obtain treatment by reducing the stigma associated with long hospitalizations.  It also cuts the cost of treatment by three times and helps patients carry on with their normal work and life activities.   

This and other mechanisms of improving treatment and caring for people with tuberculosis in Jalal-Abad oblast were the focus of the oblast’s health care coordination commission meeting held on February 29.  Representatives from the Ministry of Health, from oblast, city and regional governments, from international organizations attended along with health workers of Jalal-Abad oblast.

According to Elmira Abdrakhmanova, a “USAID Defeat TB Project” outpatient treatment specialist, Jalal-Abad oblast has developed a work plan to implement the new treatment model. Cities of Jalal-Abad and Kok-Jangak along with Suzak regions are the pilot areas for introducing the new outpatient treatment system. The project has already trained health care providers in the pilot areas on outpatient treatment principles, ways of controlling spread of infection in healthcare facilities and on the use of the “GenXpert” rapid test, which lets people to know immediately if they have TB.  

Outpatient treatment allows TB patients to access needed medical services and treatment in a more convenient way. This encourages them to seek treatment, and helps them continue their regular work and life schedules with less interruption, which keeps them economically active and reduces stigma towards them and their families.

Sergey Kwan

TCA