Together with the Government of Tajikistan, on April 8th the United States launched a national event at Kokhi Jomi Hall in Dushanbe as part of an information and education campaign dedicated to World Tuberculosis (TB) Day.
U.S. Ambassador Elisabeth Millard, in her keynote address, noted the great progress made toward controlling TB in Tajikistan, with decreased morbidity and mortality in the past five years. Despite this progress, she acknowledged the fight is not over — Tajikistan is one of the countries with the highest rates of multi-drug resistant TB in the world.
The USAID TB Control Program and the Tajikistan Ministry of Health and Social Protection are supporting various TB-related activities throughout Tajikistan during the World TB Day campaign.
These activities include a campaign for TB patients in Machiton TB Hospital; TB Testing Day for women residing in remote communities; information sessions on TB for prisoners; information and educational sessions on TB prevention and treatment for the American Corner’s visitors in Dushanbe, Sughd and Khatlon Province; and in collaboration with the Tajik National University, awareness campaigns for students in Dushanbe. A mobile troupe of well-known Tajik actors will perform short plays about TB prevention, stigma, and discrimination throughout the country.
The USAID TB Control Program aims to reduce the burden of TB and the development of multi-drug resistant TB in Tajikistan. It focuses on national policy development; access to diagnosis and treatment for vulnerable groups; supporting a patient-centered system of care; and strengthening laboratories and other parts of the health system in Sughd, Khatlon, and the Rasht Valley. As a result of the program more patients with TB are being detected and enrolled on appropriate treatment. This will help stop transmission of tuberculosis and reduce the number of new infections.
USAID grant assistance to Tajikistan now averages $30 million each year; USAID directs about one third of this assistance to the health sector. The program, with an anticipated budget of $13.2 million over five years, is another example of U.S. government assistance to improve the health of Tajik citizens.
The United States is proud to partner with Tajikistan in a global effort to eradicate an ancient and deadly foe of mankind: tuberculosis.