Press Releases 2010
USAID Helps Journalists Join The Fight Against Tuberculosis
March 19, 2010
Dushanbe: Jeffrey Lehrer, Country Director of the United States Agency for International Development and Deputy Minister of Health Sohibnazar Rakhmonov held a press conference on the prevention and control of tuberculosis (TB) and TB/HIV co-infection and the joint steps that have been taken by the Government of Tajikistan and the U. S. Government to protect people from this infectious disease. The press conference was part of a two-day workshop for journalists to improve their understanding of TB and their role in ensuring public safety with accurate reporting.
The Ministry of Health and the Independent School of Journalism "Tajikistan-XXI century" organized the workshop with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Population Service International (PSI), Project HOPE, and the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (GFATM).
Jeffrey Lehrer highlighted the ongoing U.S. assistance to Tajikistan in the area of tuberculosis prevention and control. Beginning in 2004, this assistance, valued at over 3 million USD, has achieved measurable results. USAID currently supports the Ministry of Health with Health Outreach Program to increase coverage of Most at Risk Population (MARPs) through the use of monitoring and evaluation tools, as well as best practices providing the full complex of prevention, diagnostic and treatment friendly services on TB and HIV/AIDS. Saleban Omar, Manager of Project Implementation Unit for GFATM grants, and Alexei Korobitcyn, Country Manager of the U.S. non-governmental organization Project HOPE also answered questions during the event.
The two-day workshop was devoted to the role of journalists in educating the public on tuberculosis and TB/HIV co-infection prevention and to deepen their understanding of the issues related to these potentially dangerous diseases. The media play an important role in tuberculosis control by helping educate the public on the dangers of TB, how to prevent it from spreading, and the success of properly administered and followed treatment in curing the disease.
At the press conference, Deputy Minister of Health Sohibnazar Rakhmonov explained that the Ministry's ability to detect cases of tuberculosis has significantly increased since Tajikistan adopted internationally accepted procedures. As a result, the accepted rate of tuberculosis infection in Tajikistan is 80.4 cases per 100,000 people in 2009. The mortality rate has so far remained stable at 6.3 deaths per 100,000 people per year. The workshop also discussed issues of ethics regarding reporting on tuberculosis and TB/HIV related issues.
The Health Outreach Program, implemented by Population Service International (PSI), Project HOPE, and the AIDS Foundation East-West (AFEW), is one of the many development projects implemented in Tajikistan by the United States Agency for International Development. Since 1992, the American people through the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe have provided about $900 million in programs that support Tajikistan's democratic institutions, health care, education, and economic growth.