WHO and USAID launch ambulatory TB treatment project in Turkmenistan

WHO/Chary Atayev

Medical staff of Health House during launch of pilot project for TB ambulatory care, 9 April 2013, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

A pilot project on ambulatory treatment of tuberculosis (TB) was launched in Turkmenistan on 9 April 2013 by WHO and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Through this project, staff of "Health House" medical facility in Ashgabat will obtain skills in providing second-line treatment on an ambulatory basis.

The objective is to make the success rate of ambulatory treatment equal the success rate of hospital treatment. The project supports recent changes in national TB regulations, according to which second-line treatment will be provided at five sites across the country.

Project staff worked with members of the focus group ahead of the project launch to help them improve health education for TB patients, the patients´ families and communities in an effort to reduce stigma attached to the disease.

At project completion, a policy document on outpatient treatment is expected to be submitted to the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan for endorsement.