Mountainous, rugged and landlocked, the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan is Central Asia’s poorest nation. In Tajikistan, it is a great challenge for patients with life-threatening conditions like diabetes and cancer to access essential medications – especially poor patients. The government-run medical system cannot afford to cover all of the incurred expenses. Buying medicines such as insulin at the pharmacy can have an enormous impact on a family’s budget, resulting in a lower quality of life for all involved. And there is always the danger of purchasing counterfeit medicines, which have no effect whatsoever.
From December 2001 to May 2014, Project HOPE, with the help of airlifts by the United States Department of State and generous donors like you, shipped more than $400 million of critically-needed, high-quality medicines and medical supplies to Tajikistan – including 95 percent of Tajikistan’s reliable insulin. Over the course of those thirteen years Project HOPE earned a reputation within Tajikistan as a reliable and transparent charitable organization, committed to aiding the most vulnerable populations however it could.
These donations have helped save people’s lives, improve the quality of their lives and protect them and their families from financial ruin due to the huge cost of purchasing medicines relative to the average incomes in these countries.
For example, patients such as Nisso, 35 and Orif, 42 who have insulin-dependent Type I diabetes, receive high-quality insulin free of cost at the Republican Clinical Center of Endocrinology in Dushanbe through the program. Having access to this insulin shields them from the risk of purchasing counterfeit insulin and saves their families from the enormous economic burden that would have been incurred without the insulin donations received through Project HOPE.
The free insulin also serves as an incentive for patients with diabetes to become registered with the government health system. Registered diabetics in Tajikistan have access to health and lifestyle counseling and are connected to a community of patients with diabetes, which helps improve their quality of life.
Tillo, 52, has received a course of chemotherapy at the Government Institution of Oncology Scientific Center in Dushanbe that had been donated through the final air shipment arriving May 2014. Afflicted with clinical stage three cancer of the esophagus, the chemotherapy is helping prolong his life.
All of the donated medicines are carefully checked and monitored to ensure they are matched to the hospitals and clinics with the greatest needs and reach their intended destinations. The medicines have been distributed to all regions of Tajikistan: Khatlon, Sughd, GBAO, Districts of Republican Submission and Dushanbe. Both patients and doctors have been very appreciative of the donations.
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