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Posts tagged "Central Asia"
The new GTBC regional manager for Eastern Europe and Central Asia

The new GTBC regional manager for Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Many of you will already know the Global TB Caucus and the fantastic Tsira Chakhaia, who has been the Regional Manager for Eastern Europe and Central Asia for the last few years. The Global TB Causus is an international network of over 2400 Parliamentarians from over 130 countries, who are working together to end TB. We often work together with the Caucus. For example, earlier this year, we organsied a webinar in Russian together on parliamentary engagement, during with Tsira gave a presentation. Tsira has sadly left the Caucus, but we are very pleased to welcome the new Manager for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Alesia Matusevych: Let me introduce myself a little. My name is Alesia. I’m from Ukraine and had been working as an assistant to the Ukrainian Member of Parliament Mr. Serhiy Kiral for about 4 years. Mr. Kiral is also a Head of Parliamentary Platform for fighting against TB in Ukraine, as well as Eastern European and Central Asia Co-chair of the Global TB Caucus. I decided that, while I was keen to continue fighting TB, I wanted to do so in a position which would allow me to make a greater impact on such an issue. More…

Kyrgyzstan is implementing transition planning for TB and HIV

Kyrgyzstan is implementing transition planning for TB and HIV

A working group has brought together representatives from The Global Fund, government, civil society and communities to work on the transition. The Ministry of Health of Kyrgyzstan has formed a multi-disciplinary working group of specialists to plan, coordinate, and implement transition planning for TB and HIV. The group is already staffed by management, procurement, public health, and finance specialists. Representatives of civil society organizations and communities are also included. Other positions will be added. The working group will be assisted by a technical support group consisting of representatives from international organizations – the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, the World Health Organization, Open Society Foundations, UNAIDS – and communities. The representatives of CSOs and the communities are actively engaged at the decision-making level in the working group, and have suggested most of the initiatives that the working group has adopted, according to Aibar Sultangaziev, executive director of the Partnership Network, an association of 26 local CSOs. Consultation with the CSOs and the communities are ongoing. The discussion is focused mostly on service provision – in particular, which services should be covered, what elements should be included for each service, and how much they will cost. The working group More…

Kyrgyzstan Conducts "Gender and Legal Assessment in TB"

Kyrgyzstan Conducts “Gender and Legal Assessment in TB”

Kyrgyzstan is conducting “Gender and Legal Assessment in TB” with the support of Stop TB Partnership and the participation of international experts Nonna Turusbekova and Samanta Sokolowski. This kind of TB assessment is carried out for the first time. On the 2nd of December 2015, a round-table was held in Bishkek on the topic “Gender-based and Legal Assessment in Tuberculosis”. The Kyrgyz TB Coalition organized the event, which was attended by representatives of ministries, government services, and international and local civil society organizations. “Gender assessment consists of a series of steps aimed at assessing how differentiated the approach of TB programs is towards men, women, boys and girls, whereas legal assessment addresses issues of rights of Kyrgyz citizens, in general, and of key TB affected populations, in particular”, – explain international experts. As a result of discussions held on the 26th of January 2016, recommendations were made to amend the Law on Protection of Population from TB, currently under review by the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic. One of the suggested amendments is to ‘provide for interaction with civil society in the field of gender and other rights of persons affected by tuberculosis’. These recommendations, together with a letter of More…

Giving MDR-TB Patients a New Lease on Life

Giving MDR-TB Patients a New Lease on Life

Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) can be successfully treated today; however, the treatment course can take as long as two years and side effects can be severe if not appropriately addressed. The rate of MDR-TB treatment success is largely dependent on a patient’s socioeconomic circumstances as patients from marginalized groups are particularly vulnerable to dropping out of treatment. That is why ensuring patients’ adherence to TB treatment through a patient-centered approach that engages communities and civil society organizations, is critical to the success of MDR-TB treatment outcomes. Consistent with the principles of the WHO End TB Strategy, Project Hope’s interventions in Tajikistan (within the framework of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria TB grant) have provided a robust foundation for building a strong coalition in which communities and civil society organizations play a crucial role in combatting TB. Trained members of civil society and non-governmental organizations (NGO) have a unique capacity through patient education and psychosocial support to reach out to their communities to ensure that TB and MDR-TB patients make full recovery. One such patient for whom Project HOPE’s community-based initiatives were life-changing is Alisher Latipov. A family man from the Spitamen district in Tajikistan’s Sughd region, Alisher More…

TB Azerbaijan Coalition initiated TB awareness campaign on World Humanitarian Day

TB Azerbaijan Coalition initiated TB awareness campaign on World Humanitarian Day

TB Azerbaijan Coalition initiated TB awareness campaign on World Humanitarian Day and cheered up Patients with live music by Azerbaijani singers. On 18th August 2015, on the occasion of World Humanitarian Day, the members of Azerbaijan TB Coalition (TBAzC) organized TB awareness campaign that accompanied with nice live pop music and some theatre performances by former-patients and young people. The purpose of the event was to teach key affected population more about TB disease, its prevention, treatment and as well as to have an opportunity to talk to TB patients and get acquainted with their problems and wishes and last but not least to cheer them up with live music by popular singers of Azerbaijan. It is acknowledged that with entertaining way of passing information is much more effective than doing it without any visual aids. The event took place in the yard of National Research Institute for Lung Diseases, where hundreds of TB patients receive treatment in wards inside of block of hospital buildings. It is mainly attended by TB patients and their family members who really were in need of such entertaining event. Some audience gathered around the circle and some were watching through their windows of hospital More…

TB Europe Coalition meets and trains TB civil society and communities in Tajikistan

TB Europe Coalition meets and trains TB civil society and communities in Tajikistan

From 15 to 19 April 2015, members of the TBEC Steering Committee visited Tajikistan in order to meet with key stakeholders working on Tuberculosis (TB) and build the advocacy capacity of civil society and communities. This was the first TBEC visit in Central Asia and was facilitated by the recently created STOP TB Partnership Tajikistan and the organization hosting its secretariat, Young Generation for Tajikistan. Tajikistan is one of the 15 high-burden countries for Multi-Drug Resistant TB in the WHO European region. Since 2000, TB incidence has decreased from 250 to 100 cases per 100 thousands inhabitants. While general TB rates are improving, widespread poverty combined with mountainous terrain continue to limit access to health and TB services. In 2014, a total of 5313 new TB cases were reported. The country is currently drawing up its third national TB programme. The programme, however, remains heavily dependent on external financing, with close to 70% of NTP resources being provided by international donors, mainly the Global Fund and USAID. Other challenges for TB care relate to high rates of MDR- and XDR-TB, increasing incidence of TB among Tajik labour migrants, and difficult access to TB treatment in prisons. After three days of More…

Tuberculosis and the Media

Tuberculosis and the Media

In the past few weeks there has been a, relatively, considerable amount of column inches have been given over to tuberculosis (TB), particularly the worrying rise of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) strains. MDR-TB is a form of TB that is resistant to isoniazid and rifampicin (the two most powerful anti-TB drugs). In a recent post we highlighted articles both in the New York Times and Al-Jazeera alerting us to the concern that many developing countries with high TB prevalence are awash with fake and substandard drugs. In it’s leading story and, rightly so, featured on it’s front cover the most recent Europe edition of TIME magazine has declared “Contagion: Why drug-resistant TB threatens us all”. The article highlights that, currently, only 10 percent of new MDR cases are receiving proper treatment. Given that it also mentions there will be over 2 million new cases of MDR-TB from 2011-2015 this is something that should worry us all and spur us to take action. Importantly, a lack of proper treatment not only raises the risk of death for a TB patient, but it can also lead to the emergence of extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB). This is even more difficult to treat, being More…

TB bacterium “is not resting”

TB bacterium “is not resting”

The weekly science journal Nature recently published an article called TB’s revenge: The world is starting to win the war against tuberculosis, but drug-resistant forms pose a new threat, which gives an excellent overview of where we are in the global fight against TB and, in particular, against drug-resistant TB: In the early 1980s, TB cases had dropped to such low rates that Western policy-makers frequently talked of eradication of the disease. Then came the HIV epidemic, which triggered a resurgence of TB in the late 1990s. But the latest report on TB from the World Health Organization (WHO), published in October, revealed signs of progress against normal — or drug-sensitive — cases of the bacterial disease. New infections have fallen and the mortality rate has dropped by 41% since 1990. But, the report warned, “drug-resistant TB threatens global TB control”. Some 3.7% of new cases and 20% of previously treated cases are MDR-TB. And whereas in 2000 the highest incidence of MDR-TB was 14%, in Estonia; in 2010 that figure had jumped to 35%, in Russia’s Arkhangelsk province. An estimated 9% of drug-resistant cases are XDR-TB, which has now been reported in 84 countries. It is a tale of More…

European Parliament discusses rise of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Europe

European Parliament discusses rise of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Europe

The following post is brought to you by Steve Lewis, the Global Health Advocacy Manager at RESULTS UK, who last week attended a hearing in European Parliament on ‘Funding crisis at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and its impact on EU countries most affected by multi-drug resistant TB, in particular Romania’: Last week I was at a discussion in Parliament in Brussels during which European MEPs discussed the disturbing rise in TB in Eastern Europe. One of the worst hit countries is Romania where Romanian MEP Claudiu Tănăsescu told me, “When I used to work as a GP in Romania we believed that TB had been virtually eliminated. But this is not the case.” Information from various countries has been published recently in our report ‘Bridging the Gap – why the EU must address the funding crisis at the Global Fund to tackle HIV and TB epidemics in Eastern Europe and Central Asia’. The report includes case studies that demonstrate that without the resources to aggressively tackle these two diseases, the region risks undermining the progress made to date. Since the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria was forced to cancel its last funding More…

WHO report on tuberculosis highlights need for EU action

WHO report on tuberculosis highlights need for EU action

Last week the World Health Organisation (WHO) released their seventeenth global report on tuberculosis, providing a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the TB epidemic and progress in implementing and financing TB prevention, care and control.  Positive steps have been made in tackling TB globally. Findings from the report indicate that progress has and is being made in a number of areas. It notes: access to TB care has expanded substantially since the mid-1990s; progress towards global targets for reductions in TB cases and deaths continues; there has been further progress in implementing collaborative TB/HIV activities; innovations in diagnostics are being implemented, and that the development of new drugs and new vaccines is also progressing. This progress is, of course, welcome news. However, TB remains a major global health problem, ranking only second to HIV/AIDS as the leading cause of death from an infectious disease. Latest estimates show that there were almost 9 million new TB cases in 2011 and 1.4 million TB deaths. As the report notes, this is despite the availability of treatment that will cure most cases of TB. Worryingly, progress in responding to multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains slow. On a purely European outlook, this worry is exacerbated More…

Global Fund Event: Bridging the Funding Gap to End AIDS and TB

Global Fund Event: Bridging the Funding Gap to End AIDS and TB

An event discussing the impact of the Global Fund (GF) funding shortfall in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) and the necessity for the European Union (EU) to step in and fill funding gaps in the region was held in the European Parliament last week. The highly engaging event, hosted by MEP Charles Goerens and the European Parliament Working Group on Innovation, Access to Medicines and Poverty-Related Diseases, paid considerable attention to the importance of supporting the Global Fund in the years to come. Michel Kazatchkine, UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in EECA, acknowledged the significance of the GF in tackling TB and HIV in the region, highlighting its effectiveness in: supporting targeted vulnerable populations; harm reduction; strengthening civil society and communities critical for advocacy and the delivery of care; and in regulating the price of drugs in the region. Christoph Benn, director of resource mobilisation and donor relations at The Global Fund, recognised that funding levels were not sufficient in order to provide full coverage of services across EECA.

New report calls on the EU to tackle TB in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

New report calls on the EU to tackle TB in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

A report released today has called on the EU to demonstrate its potential for leadership and help fill the funding gap in tackling TB and HIV that has been left by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria’s funding shortfall. The report outlines the burden of disease on the region: “The European region is home to some of the highest rates of MDR-TB in the world (…) Although the global rate of new HIV cases has stabilised and is beginning to decline in many countries, EECA is one of two regions where the number of new HIV cases continues to rise.” The report makes evident that more work needs to be done in the EECA region to combat both HIV and TB. Due to the Global Fund funding shortages and changes in the eligibility criteria, current efforts to tackle the problem are in jeopardy and the region faces the risk of undermining the progress that has been made in the past decade. The report details the cases of Belarus, Romania and Russia as examples to highlight the impact of the funding shortfall in EECA countries. In Belarus, the Government was relying on the Global Fund for a grant to help More…

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