Almaty, Kazakhstan, January 30, 2024 - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Health, the National Scientific Center of Phtiziopulmonolgy (NTP), healthcare professionals, international donors, community leaders and medical representatives, is holding a capstone event to celebrate the achievements of its regional Eliminating Tuberculosis in Central Asia (ETICA) activity in Kazakhstan. The event highlights the innovative approaches, impactful interventions, and groundbreaking research that USAID’s ETICA activity supported to reduce the TB burden in Kazakhstan and in the broader Central Asia region.
USAID’s partnership with the Government of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Health has advanced efforts to introduce and scale up innovative rapid molecular diagnostics, quality management and assurance of TB laboratories, improved regimens for drug-resistant (DR) TB patients, strengthened collaboration with community and civil society organizations for TB outreach and patient support activities, and optimized the TB finance system. In total, more than 1,663 people were trained across the country to strengthen TB control.
USAID/Central Asia Regional Director for Democracy and Health Robin Mardeusz highlighted that “USAID is proud to partner with Ministries of Health across the region to strengthen TB control programs. Our collaboration with National TB Programs has resulted in universal access to improved TB diagnosis and treatment, and has strengthened the vital role of communities in improving TB service delivery. Together, we can end TB.” The successes achieved in the fight against TB in Kazakhstan are a testament to the dedication and cooperation of all involved. This event celebrates the achievements of the Government of Kazakhstan in the fight against TB.
USAID’s technical assistance has strengthened the capacity of the National TB Reference Laboratory (NRL) and TB laboratory network. USAID worked with the Ministry of Health to scale-up WHO-recommended rapid molecular diagnostic technology (GeneXpert MTB/Rif Ultra and GeneXpert MTB/XDR tests), to introduce Whole Genome Sequencing technology to detect DR-TB, and strengthen Drug Susceptibility Testing (DST) for TB drugs. As a result, the NRL has successfully adopted the improved technology and all 19 regional TB laboratories received the External Quality Assurance certificates by the Supranational Reference Laboratory in Germany. These remarkable achievements enable reliable and timely detection of DR-TB cases countrywide. In addition, USAID worked together with the Ministry of Health to improve mass media coverage and publications on TB, resulting in the release of more than 50 publications on TB awareness, stigma and discrimination. Additionally, national TB stigma reduction campaigns reached 536,000 people across the country.
USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. To learn more, visit: https://www.usaid.gov/central-asia-regional and USAID/Central Asia’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/USAIDCentralAsia.