AZ ConfOn April 6, 2018, a Conference dedicated to the World TB Day was held at the Baku International Press Centre on the initiative of the TB Civil Society Coordinator of NGO “SAĞLAMLIĞA XİDMƏT” (HEALTH SERVICE) – partner of the Tuberculosis Regional Eastern European and Central Asian Project (TB-REP).

The conference was attended by government representatives, TB Azerbaijan Coalition (TBAZC) members and media representatives. The following issues were discussed: social support for TB patients, complementary role of civil society organizations in providing treatment and care for TB patients, ways to improve the quality of treatment and care for TB patients, government and civil society efforts needed to combat the increase in the incidence of drug-resistant TB in the country, combating the TB stigma, the need to raise awareness about TB among the population, as well as the need to improve the Azerbaijani legislation on TB.

Each speaker touched on existing problems and gaps in the fight against tuberculosis in Azerbaijan, for comparison, global statistics on TB were provided. The meeting was opened by Elchin Mukhtarly, Director of the NGO “SAĞLAMLIĞA XİDMƏT”, who focused on the burden of tuberculosis in the country and the world as a whole. Currently, Azerbaijan is among the countries with the highest burden of drug-resistant TB, and this indicator is growing from year to year. The Azerbaijan legislation on TB control provides for the control and monitoring of TB problems, as well as the “Action Plan for TB Control” 2016-2020, adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers, which includes measures to improve TB prevention, diagnosis and treatment.AZ Conf2

Additionally, the participants were informed about the importance of the role of civil society organizations in effectively fighting tuberculosis and awareness raising. A 15-minutes feature film dedicated to overcoming stigma and adherence to TB treatment was shown. The film was made with the financial support of the Global Fund under the TB-REP Program.

A report on protecting patients’ rights presented by NGO “VƏRƏMSİZ GƏLƏCƏYƏ DOĞRU” (FUTURE FREE OF TUBERCULOSIS) highlighted the problems faced by TB patients in the country and ways to overcome them. The story of the former patient A. Allahverdieva, who defeated tuberculosis, was followed with great interest.

The winners of the journalists’ contest “The Best Article on Tuberculosis”, announced in February this year, were awarded at the conference.

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