Within the framework of the Project “Assistance in reducing the burden of tuberculosis in the Republic of Tajikistan” – implemented in the country since May 2018 – 1,499 people have been tested for TB, of which 77 were diagnosed with TB. All 77 have started treatment and have been included in the Social Support Programme. The interim results of one of the project’s components – the Small Grants program – will be summarized in this article by Arthur Niyazov, Project Manager and representative of the international organisation “Project HOPE” in Tajikistan.

The Project “Assistance in reducing the burden of tuberculosis in the Republic of Tajikistan” aimed to improve access to diagnostic services, treatment adherence, and patient support for vulnerable groups (specifically, migrants and their families).

The international organisation “Project HOPE”, as a sub-recipient of the Global Fund grant, is responsible for the implementation of two important components of the project: the Small Grants programme and the motivational support programme for Drug-Resistant TB patients. The Principal recipient of the grant is the Project Implementation Unit of the Republican Center of Protection of the Population from Tuberculosis.

The Small Grants programme aims to improve access to quality services for the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis among migrants and their families, using innovative approaches to support adherence to tuberculosis treatment and implementing various activities at the community level toward this aim.

A woman bends over a desk covered with papers. She is surrounded by medical workers in blue scrubs. A man in the Botton right corner works on a laptop.

“The Small Grants Program involves close cooperation with community organizations. On a competitive basis, public organizations that received small grants for detecting cases of TB were selected to deliver activities aimed at supporting patients during outpatient treatment. Special attention was paid to cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Overall, 12 small grants were provided to public organisations that implemented their activities on the basis of identified needs and activities agreed with the community and medical institutions. The results are quite satisfactory, and in some areas, we actually surpassed expectations”, explains Artur Niyazov.

In addition to the activities related to screening, the Small Grants Programme also conducted information sessions among migrants and members of their families. These sessions reached a total of 29,516 people were involved, including 335 patients in the social support program, and 225 patients received support in their controlled treatment.

The second component of the project involves motivational support (specifically cash incentives) to increase adherence to treatment of patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB). 1134 patients were involved during the course of the project.

Arthur Niyazov emphasized that “the ultimate goal of the project is to reduce the burden of tuberculosis in the Republic of Tajikistan. It requires the effort and consistent work of all stakeholders – government and international agencies, public organizations, local communities, and medical institutions. In the regions where the project is being implemented, very strong cooperation between the community, medical and public organizations has been established, achieving very good results and positive feedback”.

 


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