WHO reviews the national tuberculosis control programme in Tajikistan

WHO/Sayohat Hasanova

Participants in the review of tuberculosis control in Tajikistan

WHO/Europe and the WHO Country Office, Tajikistan made a comprehensive review of tuberculosis prevention and control in Tajikistan, to make recommendations for improvement in accordance with up-to-date WHO policies.

Tajikistan has a high burden of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), and is one of 18 countries in the WHO European Region in which TB control is the highest priority. Of the 6850 total cases registered in Tajikistan in 2012, 80% (5484) were new cases. The case-detection rate has improved over recent years, but remains low: 47% (39–57%).

During the review, WHO experts visited institutions at all levels that provide services for TB prevention, treatment and care, and met with key informants, international development partners, representatives of civil society and TB patients.

At an official meeting on 24 July 2013, the team presented its preliminary findings and recommendations to national health authorities and key partners, including representatives of the health and justice ministries, embassies, development partners, donors and staff of the national TB control programme.

“Tajikistan has made remarkable progress in TB prevention, control and diagnosis, but there are challenges to be addressed, particularly in MDR-TB treatment and care,” said Dr Masoud Dara of WHO/Europe at the meeting.

The review was organized at the request of the Ministry of Health of Tajikistan and supported by development partners: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), KFW Entwicklungsbank (KfW Development Bank) in Germany and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

WHO regularly reviews TB control in countries: usually every 2–5 years. The 2013 review in Tajikistan followed that in 2009, the year in which the Government endorsed the national intersectoral TB control programme for 2010–2015. The programme will be updated according to the findings and recommendations of the 2013 review, to render Tajikistan ever more effective in combating TB and paving the way for further progress.