March 24 is World Tuberculosis Day. To commemorate this date during the entire month of March USAID is supporting events aimed at preventing the spread of tuberculosis (TB) and at informing citizens about this issue. The slogan of the month is “Together we can defeat TB!”
The Kyrgyz Republic has one of the highest rates of drug resistant tuberculosis in the world. Nevertheless, like their colleagues in other countries of the former Soviet Union, the Kyrgyz TB specialists are skeptical of the safety and effectiveness of outpatient care. For decades their TB programs mandated lengthy inpatient treatment under the assumption that hospitalization reduces the potential of TB transmission in the general public and guarantees treatment during the most critical phase of therapy.
To provide an evidence base for policy reform and national scale-up of ambulatory treatment in April 2012, the USAID Quality Health Care Project (QHCP) initiated a pilot project introducing outpatient treatment for TB patients in the Issyk-Ata district of Chui Oblast. The project trained local health personnel on modern standards of detection, diagnosis, treatment, patient education and counseling. The project also introduced the latest molecular diagnostics technology (GeneXpertTM) for rapid detection of TB and drug resistance among TB patients.
The Kyrgyz Republic is among 27 countries in the world with a very high burden of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). MDR-TB is a particularly dangerous type of tuberculosis that is often developed due to failure to complete the entire course of regular TB treatment. According to the national tuberculosis control program, MDR-TB is identified in 26% of all new cases of tuberculosis and in 55% of patients who previously received TB treatment. Tuberculosis requires a long and uncomfortable treatment regimen to be cured. The length of treatment and the unpleasant side effects of TB drugs make it a challenge for patients and healthcare workers to ensure successful completion.
Patient education and psychological and social support can improve adherence to difficult treatment regimens. The USAID Quality Health Care Project set up 12 Patient Support Groups (PSGs) for tuberculosis patients in different regions of the country to help them successfully complete treatment.
Tuberculosis is an airborne infectious disease that, if not treated, can be lethal. In many countries of the world, including the Kyrgyz Republic, tuberculosis poses a serious threat to public health. Smear microscopy is the main diagnostic method used to identify TB and to monitor the effectiveness of treatment. Regular quality control of this method is important to ensure that TB cases are not being missed or falsely diagnosed in laboratories. The External Quality Assurance (EQA) program is an internationally recognized standard that allows laboratories to regularly evaluate their performance and to improve the accuracy of their results. Prior to the USAID Quality Health Care Project, the improved EQA techniques were not employed widely in the Kyrgyz Republic. Since 2013, USAID Quality Health Care Project has supported the National TB program to achieve countrywide EQA coverage by providing training for the staff of microscopy laboratories.
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. The 9th National Garment Trade Fair “Fashion Industry 2015. Manufacturers and Equipment” will take place on 11-16 March 2015 at the Kojomkul Sports Palace in Bishkek. The trade fair is hosted by the Association of Light Manufacturing Enterprises “LEGRPOM” and is supported by the USAID Women’s Leadership in Small and Medium Enterprises (WLSME) program. The fair has become a major platform where national garment companies promote new collections, customers and wholesalers negotiate agreements, and the latest trends in design and technology in garments market are discussed. Over 110 garment companies from Bishkek and other regions will exhibit their products along with the equipment providers from Germany, the software providers from Ukraine and importers of fabrics from India and packaging products from Russia, China and Europe.
Last updated: June 09, 2015