Support to TB Patients

Speeches Shim

Since 2020, the project has managed to bring back more than 300 patients from groups that were at risk of abandoning their treatment.
Since 2020, the project has managed to bring back more than 300 patients from groups that were at risk of abandoning their treatment.

As part of this project, USAID is directly partnering with the National Society of the Red Crescent of Kyrgyzstan to support the prevention, care, and treatment of tuberculosis (TB). The project implements locally generated solutions to improve TB services, working in both community and clinical settings in Jalal-Abad and Naryn oblasts.

DURATION: January 2020 – January 2023

BUDGET:  $1 million

IMPLEMENTING PARTNER: National Society of the Red Crescent in Kyrgyz Republic

KEY PARTNERS: Local governments, USAID Cure Tuberculosis Project

ACTIVITY LOCATION: Jalal-Abad and Naryn oblasts

MAJOR FOCUS AREAS

In close collaboration with USAID’s Cure TB project, Support to TB Patients contributes to reducing the burden of drug-resistant TB in the Kyrgyz Republic. The project team works with target populations to detect new cases. It focuses on managing these cases and improving access for patients to TB treatment services. In addition, RCSK works with medical doctors and patients’ close community to decrease stigma and discrimination against them. The main goal is to help patients stay on treatment and successfully complete it.

IMPACT AND RESULTS

Treating TB can take from several months to two years depending on the case severity. That’s why many patients struggle with staying on treatment. Since 2020, the project has managed to bring back more than 300 patients from groups that were at risk of abandoning their treatment.

Psychological support to patients from nurses and other volunteers - former TB patients - is one of the key elements of the project. In the last two years, more than 500 patients attended self-support sessions organized with support from the project.

The project specialists work in target communities to identify new TB infection cases by investigating symptoms and tracing contacts with TB patients. Since 2020, they have checked 467 people that had TB symptoms after contacting a patient. After testing, 38 people were put on treatment after their diagnosis was confirmed.

As part of the Support to TB Patients project, RCSK is helping local governments to increase financial assistance to TB patients in their respective jurisdictions. For example, special training sessions on revising budgets for 12 local governments helped to redistribute funds. As the result, 65 patients received in-kind and financial support amounting to 158 000 KGS. Patients often lose their sources of income because of their illness or treatment process and financial and food assistance is critical for patients and their families.

The project works to inform people surrounding TB patients to help them understand the disease better and decrease the usual stigma and discrimination against patients. According to the project’s assessment, women are especially prone to stigma compared to men, especially from their husband’s families. Taking into account this gender-based disparity, the project pays close attention to women patients and their surrounding community.

Last updated: April 05, 2022

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