United States Ambassador Susan M. Elliott and USAID Central Asia Deputy Mission Director David Brown, together with Tajikistan Deputy Minister of Health and Social Protection of the Population (MOHSPP) Navruz Jaffarov, co-chaired a conference devoted to the close out of the USAID Quality Health Care Project. The event highlighted the many impacts of the project, which covered maternal and child health, reproductive health, tuberculosis (TB), and HIV, along with health care reform.
Ambassador Elliott noted the project’s achievements in improving health care in Tajikistan since 2010. For example, project technical assistance helped MOHSPP achieve international standards in prevention, examination, diagnosis, and treatment techniques.
Other project successes include improved quality control and management systems within the national TB laboratory network; increased out-patient TB treatment options; and a strong network of community activists advocating for TB prevention via patient support groups. The project developed comprehensive HIV service packages for key populations at risk in Tajikistan and helped integrate HIV and TB services. It also developed Community Advisory Boards at health centers to increase client involvement and empower communities and non-governmental organizations to define priorities in care and drive change.
In maternal-child health, the project saw the percentage of women receiving active management of the third stage of labor increase from 46% in year one to 99% in year five and the percentage of women receiving prenatal counseling increase from 22% to 64%. The project also contributed to the design and adoption of national standards in family planning, prenatal care, infection control, and neonatal care.
The USAID Qualtiy Health Care Project helped to institutionalize Evidence Based Medicine principles; to improve Family Medicine education; and to promote rational use of antibiotics.
The Ministry of Health and Social Protection expressed gratitude to USAID for continuous support and technical assistance on health reform in Tajikistan, including in-service education that increased capacity of health professionals. Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Jafarov said: “Doctors typically rely on medical journals, professional association meetings, and continuing education, to learn about new trends in healthcare, but Tajikistan’s doctors do not have access to mid-career health education. The Quality Health Care Project improved their knowledge of contemporary practices, and helped hundreds of people throughout Tajikistan.”
This project is an example of the United States’ commitment to improve access to quality health care in Tajikistan. USAID grant assistance to Tajikistan now averages $30 million each year of which 30% is directed to healthcare.