World Tuberculosis (TB) Day 2011 in Turkmenistan

World TB Day 2011 was celebrated with a number of  activities in Turkmenistan. The Ministry of Health organized a television campaign, a workshop on tuberculosis for public school teachers, and a performance dedicated to World TB Day. This last activity included a shop for doctors, t-shirts with tuberculosis slogans on them, and an awareness campaign targeted to the students of the Medical University, the Police Academy, as well as to military conscripts.

MDR TB Training in Mary Velayat

The joint WHO and USAID/QHCP training “MDR(XDR) TB diagnosis and treatment” was conducted at the “Margush” Hotel Mary on 23-24 March 2011. The event was a continuation of a chain of similar events started in December 2010 in Lebapvelayat. The trainers were led by international tuberculosis clinicians and laboratory specialists from the Netherlands, the Chair of Tuberculosis department of Turkmen State Medical University (TSMU), and the USAID/QHCP Tuberculosis Director in Turkmenistan. In total 40 trainees attended the event including a senior infectious disease specialist of the The Ministry of Health and the Medical Industry of Turkmenistan (MOHMIT), the Head of the Tuberculosis Faculty of the Turkmen State Medical University, the directors of Velayat Tuberculosis Hospitals, the managers of Velayat tuberculosis laboratories, Doctors of Mary Velayat Tuberculosis Hospital, and the tuberculosis district doctors of Etraps of the Mary Velayat.

During the training, practical clinicians and laboratory specialists from across the country and in particular from Mary Velayat explored some of the most advanced international approaches of M(X)DR tuberculosis diagnosis and management. Participants had the opportunity to discuss various practical issues which would potentially emerge while implementing these approaches in Turkmenistan.

The participants greatly enjoyed the workshop. This event is particularly important in relation to the upcoming MDR TB controls that will soon begin on a national level in a framework of the GF Round 9 grant.

National Tuberculosis Conference

National and international partners, including MOHMIT, Tuberculosis Prevention Centre for infectious diseases, Turkmen State Medical University (TSMU), WHO, UNDP/PIU, National Federation of the Red Crescent, USAID/QHCP participated in the organization of the National Tuberculosis Conference for health workers in honor of World TB Day 2011, which took place on 24 March 2011.

More than 70 participants attended the conference including the Ministry of Health and the Medical Industry of Turkmenistan (MOHMIT), the Defense Ministry of Turkmenistan, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Turkmenistan, the State Epidemiological Service, the National Frontier Service of Turkmenistan, the Tuberculosis Prevention Center of the Center for Infectious Diseases, the AIDS Center of the Center for Infectious Diseases, the Ashgabat and all Velayats healthcare departments, TSMU, WHO, UNDP/ GFTAM PIU, USAID/QHCP, the National Red Crescent Society of Turkmenistan, and the Practical Physicians Doctors of the Center for Infectious Diseases.

The event was opened by a MOHMIT representative, followed by the Head of the WHO Country Office and a USAID representative. Presentations on different aspects of tuberculosis control activities were prepared by the WHO head of country office (STOP TB Global Strategy), the UNDP/PIU manager (UNDP/PIU activities), a WHO consultant on drug policy (National Drug Policy), the USAID/QHCP TB Director (Priorities for TB control in Turkmenistan and global best practices), and the Head of TSMU TB department (HSS aspects in TB control).

Velayats representatives also made presentations which provided the most recent updates on the tuberculosis epidemiological situation at the regional levels as well as the status of tuberculosis control activities.