Tuberculosis in Tajikistan: achievements, challenges and opportunities
National and development partners, including the WHO Country Office and the Global Fund Portfolio Manager, met on 4 April 2014 in Tajikistan to discuss the sustainability of the national tuberculosis (TB) programme (NTP) and overall health system strengthening within the area of TB/multidrug-resistant TB (TB/MDR TB) control and prevention.
Current status of TB control
The meeting was a follow-up to a TB programme review conducted by WHO in July 2013. The review identified significant progress in improving TB outcomes in Tajikistan due to positive trends in management of TB treatment and governance at the national level. However it also recommended that a patient-centred approach and social support services for TB/MDR-TB patients be strengthened and standardized.
The meeting was opened by Dr Hans Kluge, Director of the Health Systems and Public Health Division of WHO/Europe and Special Representative of the Regional Director on multidrug- and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (M/XDR-TB) and Dr Pavel Ursu, WHO Representative in Tajikistan.
A presentation on recent achievements and challenges within the TB programme by Dr Oktam Bobokhojaev was followed by an open and interactive discussion focused on resource mobilization strategies to be adopted in the near future in light of reduced funds from the Global Fund. Strategic partnerships and possible technical assistance from WHO were also discussed.
Partners voiced concern about the sustainability of the TB programme in light of the current financial crisis and lack of available state funding. They proposed that an optimal TB financing mechanism be considered in line with ongoing health financing reform.
Dr Ursu noted that key components of TB control include the well-coordinated efforts of development partners, the role of health system in general in combating TB and rational and efficient use of available resources.
Dr Kluge emphasized the importance of sound TB control to prevent MDR-TB, good drug management to ensure an uninterrupted drug supply and the importance of health financing reform to ensure sustainability of TB control inTajikistan.