Over the past decade that USAID has supported Tuberculosis (TB) Control efforts in Central Asian Republics, TB morbidity and mortality indicators have significantly improved, with fewer TB cases and fewer deaths, compared to a decade ago. Yet TB still remains a high priority public health threat.
In 2014, Project HOPE started implementing in Uzbekistan a five-year $24.2 million USAID-funded TB Control Program, working to ensure more effective and more accessible TB diagnoses and treatments in order to reduce the burden of tuberculosis and its multidrug-resistant forms. The program covers a wide range of technical areas, including strengthening the health system’s human and institutional capacity, improving interagency coordination and cooperation, and increasing the use of electronic databases.
Throughout its history, Project HOPE has expanded its technical assistance to further benefit Uzbekistan’s citizens. Since 1991, Project HOPE has delivered medicines and medical supplies to Uzbekistan worth more than US $103 million, of which most recent humanitarian aid valued at $2.2 million was delivered to Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Health in May 2016. The donated pharmaceuticals were distributed by the Ministry of Health’s regional health departments and benefited nearly 7,000 patients in need.
Maternal, child and reproductive health and TB control have been themes throughout Project HOPE’s history in Uzbekistan. Our Uzbekistan office opened in Tashkent in 1999 with the initiation of the Child Survival Program and pioneered the first internationally funded TB control project in Uzbekistan.
For eight years, the Child Survival Program in Uzbekistan aimed to encourage family support. Together with the Ministry of Health and local organizations, the program focused on reducing mortality and morbidity in children under five, on mothers of reproductive age, and on increasing adolescents’ knowledge of reproductive and sexual health. In 2002 Project HOPE led a group of international NGOs implementing the Healthy Family Program to broker a national and regional policy to support large-scale maternal child and reproductive health initiatives across three of the largest and most populous countries in Central Asia including Uzbekistan.
Project HOPE's mission grew to include a region-wide TB program in Central Asia with the goal of improving the effectiveness of health systems in response to TB. Project HOPE initiated an anti-TB strategy in Uzbekistan by implementing Directly Observed Therapy-Short Course (DOTS) from 2001 to 2004 and continued this effort focusing on Multi-Drug-Resistant TB DOTS Plus from 2004 to 2009. Starting in 2010, Project HOPE successfully implemented five-year USAID-funded Dialogue on HIV and TB and Quality Health Care projects and the TB Component under the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, focusing on TB management systems, quality management of laboratory services, infection control training, and outreach activities to raise TB awareness and to reduce the HIV and TB epidemics among key populations. These interventions further aligned Project HOPE’s expertise, processes and people with its mission – to provide lasting solutions to health problems with the mission of helping people to help themselves.
U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan Pamela Spratlen recently toured Kashkadarya Regional Tuberculosis Dispensary marking TB Day.
The initial meetings have already brought together over 350 TB patients to address the stigmas, feelings of loneliness and isolation so common among TB patients.
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