DUSHANBE (TCA) — The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Tajik Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population on November 26 officially launched two new projects: A five-year USAID Eliminating Tuberculosis in Central Asia (ETICA) Activity and a grant awarded to the World Health Organization (WHO) to “Improved Prevention, Detection, and Treatment of DR-TB in Central Asia”. Both TB projects are part of the USAID Central Asia Regional program that includes specific activities for Tajikistan, the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe said.
The main purpose of both projects is to further increase detection and improve the treatment outcomes of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB), and strengthen the enabling environment and financial sustainability of TB and DR-TB programs. The Deputy Minister of Health and Social Protection of the Population of Tajikistan, Mirhamuddin Kamolzoda; USAID Central Asia Mission Director, Christopher Edwards; and the WHO Representative in Tajikistan, Galina Perfilieva, participated in the ceremony. Representatives of the Parliament of Tajikistan, international and local civil society organizations, public health officials, and healthcare providers attended the event. During the launch ceremony, USAID donated supplies, reagents and consumables for rapid drug-resistant TB testing, purchased upon the request of the National TB Program at the expense of $250,000. With a regional budget of $31.6 million across Central Asia, the ETICA project will lead to sustainable improvements in the quality and availability of DR-TB services by building the capacity of National TB Programs in diagnosis, treatment, management, financing, and TB information systems in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan.
During the event, the USAID Central Asia Mission Director said: “The U.S. government is committed to supporting the governments of Central Asia countries to reach every person with TB information, cure those in need of treatment, and prevent the spread of the disease.”
USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID’s work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity, demonstrates American generosity, and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience. USAID assistance in Tajikistan averages $30 million each year, of which approximately 30 percent is directed to healthcare.