Issues of cross-border tuberculosis control in Central Asian countries discussed at the third high-level regional meeting in Astana
Tuberculosis knows no borders, and building partnerships to address cross-border control of TB and as well as drug resistance TB and TB co-infections among labor migrants was the theme of the third high-level regional meeting on “Migration and Tuberculosis: Cross-border TB Control and Care in the Central Asian Region” held in Astana on December 6 and December 7, 2017. Organized by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Project HOPE, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the United States Agency for International Development, the third annual meeting was attended by representatives of government agencies, national TB programs and migration authorities from Central Asia, experts from the World Health Organization (WHO), the STOP TB Partnership, the International Organization for Migration, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, as well as representatives of civil society.
“Our efforts are focused on ensuring that people are free of TB and can work and support their families. This meeting reaffirms the commitment of the Central Asian countries to building partnerships to control TB,” said Mariam Sianozova, Project HOPE’s Senior Regional Director for Europe and Eurasia. “Since December 2014, Project HOPE, with the Global Fund’s financial support, has been implementing a program to support the Comprehensive Plan to Combat Tuberculosis in Kazakhstan. I would like to emphasize that much has been accomplished already with the support of the Ministry of Health and national partners. An effective dialogue between the countries of the region is now in place, and the upcoming execution of the bilateral agreements on cross-border control of TB will enable the implementation of the long-term mechanisms in the fight against TB in the region.”
The meeting was organized within the framework of the Comprehensive Plan to Fight TB in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2014-2020 and the Program “Addressing Cross-border Control of TB, MDR/XDR-TB and TB/HIV among Labor Migrants in the Republic of Kazakhstan.” The first and second meetings in this format were held in November 2015 and December 2016 to develop mechanisms for regional coordination and collaboration on TB diagnosis and treatment. The purpose of the 3rd high-level meeting was to review the performance of the Action Plan/Roadmap for the second year and further steps as part of the implementation of the WHO “End TB Strategy”.
“Kazakhstan is one of the countries that pays much attention to the fight against TB and has become a regional leader in the cross-border control of this disease,” added Sianozova. “The Comprehensive Plan to Fight TB in Kazakhstan provides not only for activities to improve access to TB diagnosis and treatment for labor migrants, but also aims to establish a regional dialogue on this issue.”
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