Close collaboration yields progress on TB prevention and care in the Russian Federation
For nearly 2 decades, WHO and the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation have collaborated closely to develop effective strategies for tuberculosis (TB) prevention and care. Through the High-level Working Group (HLWG) on TB established in 1999, more than 30 Russian Federation and international nongovernmental organizations have worked in partnership to make progress towards ending TB in the country.
Over the years, the HLWG has engaged in a range of TB control activities and projects. These have helped contribute to a sharp decline in TB mortality and incidence in the Russian Federation over the past decade, with an average annual decline of 16% in mortality and 6% in incidence. The HLWG’s activities have covered infection prevention in TB treatment centres, laboratory diagnostics, surveillance and monitoring of TB, professional training for specialists, awareness-raising measures, provision of psychosocial support to enhance TB treatment and more. The experience in TB prevention and care gained from the cooperation between WHO and the Russian Federation has also been shared with other countries, helping benefit their own TB programmes.
Today, WHO/Europe continues to support the Russian Federation in fully implementing the Tuberculosis Action Plan for the WHO European Region 2016–2020. The Action Plan sets a regional goal of ending the spread of drug-susceptible and drug-resistant TB by achieving universal access to prevention, diagnosis and treatment in all countries of the Region. This goal is fully aligned with WHO’s strategic priority of strengthening health systems to move towards universal health coverage, articulated in the 13th General Programme of Work.
Extending universal access to TB services in Moscow
In Moscow, a well-structured and effective system for delivering TB services provides a good example of how the Russian Federation is bringing quality treatment and care to people from many different walks of life. In addition to permanent residents, TB services offered in Moscow cover all people living in the capital city, including socially vulnerable groups.
“We see that health-care services are available to people who need them, regardless of whether they are citizens, workers, migrants, students coming to this big city to work or study, or homeless people,” says Dr Melita Vujnovic, WHO Representative in the Russian Federation.
The full range of services, from diagnostic examination through inpatient and outpatient treatment, as needed, is available to any person in Moscow who has symptoms of TB or develops the disease. TB services in the city are provided by the Moscow Research and Clinical Centre for Tuberculosis Control, which comprises 2 clinics, 2 clinical and diagnostic centres, a children's diagnostic department, 8 branches in Moscow districts and 2 hospitals.
“Ending TB by 2030 calls for leaving no one behind, and migrants are often among the most vulnerable populations. Efforts of the Russian Federation to provide quality care for people irrespective of their nationalities are to be commended,” says Dr Masoud Dara, Coordinator for Communicable Diseases at WHO/Europe.
Learn more about TB services in Moscow by viewing the video on this page.