Dushanbe, Tajikistan, April 14, 2017 – At the national 2017 World Tuberculosis (TB) Day event at the VEFA Center, U.S. Chargé d’affaires Leslie Hayden and the Deputy Minister of Health and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Tajikistan Aziz Abdusattor Odinazoda remarked on the significant progress made toward controlling TB in Tajikistan, while acknowledging that challenges remain. Tajikistan still has very high rates of multi-drug resistant TB, which poses a formidable challenge for TB control.
To commemorate World TB Day and raise awareness about TB in Tajikistan, the United States and Tajik governments as well as national partners reaffirmed their commitment to successfully implement the World Health Organization’s (WHO) End TB Strategy, which calls for a global effort to find, treat, and cure all people with TB and accelerate progress towards the bold goal of ending TB by 2035.
The event convened a diverse audience of government officials and healthcare providers who gathered with approximately 500 members of the public, including youth, to call attention to TB prevention and promotion of healthy lifestyles. Additionally, during the event, 20 doctors and nurses from healthcare facilities throughout Tajikistan were recognized for their outstanding contributions to TB control, and the event also served as a forum to share public service announcements developed through the USAID TB Control Program about the importance of TB prevention and reduction of TB stigma and discrimination.
During the months of March and April, USAID and the Ministry of Health and Social Protection have been conducting a national campaign to raise TB awareness. A series of World TB Day events was held at Machiton TB Hospital, Degmoy TB Hospital in Sughd, and for students at the Tajik National University. In addition, the USAID TB Control Program gave presentations at all eight American Corners throughout Tajikistan.
The USAID TB Control Program aims to reduce the burden of TB and the development of multi-drug resistant TB in Tajikistan through enhancing national policy development; improving access to diagnosis and treatment; supporting a patient-centered system of care; and strengthening laboratories and the health system in Sughd, Khatlon, and the Rasht Valley. USAID’s assistance to Tajikistan now averages $30 million each year, of which approximately 30 percent is directed to healthcare.