In Uzbekistan, receiving the proper training to care for patients with tuberculosis (TB) is difficult. Health care providers have to travel to the capital city, which can be hundreds of miles away, for clinical consultations and training. These long trips make it difficult for medical professionals to provide the best care they can, as they are unable to exchange advice and expertise with others in the field.
That’s why Project HOPE, under the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Tuberculous Control Program and in partnership with the Uzbekistan Ministry of Health and the Republican Scientific and Practical Medical Center of Tuberculosis and Pulmonology, recently launched the Center for Innovative Distance Training and Monitoring in Tashkent, with a regional satellite office in Bukhara. The Center will address the long-distance challenges that come with treating TB in Uzbekistan by providing professional development, clinical consultations, and mentoring to health care workers and medical students, both onsite and remotely.
Now, medical professionals working at the Center in Tashkent can share their knowledge easier and provide online consultations with their colleagues at the Bukhara Regional TB Hospital, which will make TB diagnoses and treatment quicker and more accurate. The Center will also allow health care workers at regional TB institutions the ability to train in TB procedures from a distance.
“The Center for Innovative Distance Training and Monitoring will become a leading institution for the professional development of healthcare providers and students by providing access to the newest approaches on TB prevention, detection, and treatment. This contributes to the common goal of reducing the burden of this disease in Uzbekistan,” noted Gary Robbins, Uzbekistan Country Office Director, USAID/Central Asia.
Video-conferencing, information technology, and office equipment were all provided by the USAID TB Control Program to support the Center. The program will continue to grow with additional satellite branches coming to other regions of Uzbekistan, linking TB professionals across the entire country. This network will improve the quality and access to TB services to patients across Uzbekistan.
The main objective of the five-year, $7.6 million USAID TB Control Program is to reduce the burden of tuberculosis in Uzbekistan and prevent multidrug-resistant forms of the disease. The program includes a wide range of activities, including training health care workers to strengthen the health system, improving interagency coordination and cooperation, and increasing access to TB diagnosis and treatment.
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