Almaty, Kazakhstan, March 24, 2023—Today, USAID in Kazakhstan joins partners and stakeholders worldwide in commemorating World Tuberculosis (TB) Day 2023. This year's World TB Day theme, "Yes! We can end TB!" is a call to action for renewed focus, commitment, and collaboration to advance progress toward eliminating the disease. According to the WHO, in 2021 tuberculosis was one of the top infectious killers in the world. Each day, every minute three people lose their lives to TB and close to 21 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 74 million lives since 2000. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed years of progress made in the fight to end TB between 2005 and 2019 and placed an even heavier burden on those affected, especially the most vulnerable.
Kazakhstan has made remarkable strides in reducing the burden of TB. Since 2014, the country has decreased TB incidence by 45 percent and mortality by 65 percent. However, challenges exist and Kazakhstan remains one of the WHO's 30 most burdened countries for multiple drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). To accelerate progress toward eliminating TB and the spread of hard-to-treat drug-resistant forms of TB in Kazakhstan, USAID collaborates with all levels of the country's TB response, from government officials to grassroots TB activists and organizations. USAID supports implementing cutting-edge TB diagnostic technology, internationally recognized quality care standards, and updated TB treatment protocols. USAID invests in the power of community engagement, helping develop and expand TB communities in Kazakhstan to reach, support, and connect people to lifesaving TB prevention, testing, treatment, and care services.
USAID Acting Regional Democracy and Health Office Director Kenneth Sklaw noted, “USAID, through its implementation of the USAID Global TB Strategy reaffirms its support and partnership with Kazakhstan's National TB Program (NTP) to provide universal access to faster TB diagnosis and treatment and strengthen the role of community-based organizations in supporting TB service delivery. The COVID-19 pandemic has reversed years of progress made in the fight to end TB. Thus, USAID supports the National TB Program’s efforts to mitigate and reverse the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on access to essential TB services in the country.”
USAID has nearly three decades of collaboration with Kazakhstan's NTP and supports the overall goals of its National Strategic TB Plan 2021-2025 to reduce the country's TB incidence and mortality. USAID's Global TB Strategy strategically focuses on providing technical expertise and support that strengthen and expand quality standards of TB detection, treatment, and care at all levels of service delivery - from the government level to the community level - to decrease the burden of TB. Over the years, countries in Central Asia have strengthened their national TB service responses through solid political and economic commitment. Still, the high burden of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and extensively resistant TB (XDR-TB) remains a critical challenge to effective TB control in the region.
USAID is the world’s leading international development agency and a catalytic agent for development outcomes. For more information, visit the USAID/Central Asia and USAID/Kazakhstan websites:
https://www.usaid.gov/central-asia-regional, https://www.usaid.gov/kazakhstan, and Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/USAIDCentralAsia