Karshi, Uzbekistan, March 24, 2017
United States Ambassador to Uzbekistan Pamela L. Spratlen, toured today the Kashkadarya Regional Tuberculosis Dispensary in Karshi. The Ambassador’s visit coincides with World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, which is observed worldwide every year on March 24 to call attention to the impact TB has on public health and to promote TB prevention, a healthy lifestyle, and reducing the stigma and discrimination associated with this disease.
Through our assistance programs, the United States is working jointly with the Republic of Uzbekistan Ministry of Health to eradicate TB through successful implementation of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) End TB Strategy. According to WHO, worldwide nearly 10 million people have fallen ill with TB. Even though TB is preventable and curable, nearly two million people still die every year from this disease. A lack of awareness among the public on available prevention and treatment methods is one of the major causes of TB prevalence.
The World TB Day visit was hosted by the Kashkadarya Regional TB Dispensary Head Physician Tulkun Ashurov. The Kashkadarya Regional TB Dispensary, which serves a population of 3 million, has received technical assistance from the American People under the USAID TB Control Program. Since 2015, this program has been stopping the spread of TB in four regions of Uzbekistan.
In the course of the visit, Ambassador Spratlen met with the dispensary’s doctors, nurses and staff of a TB Patients’ School and Patient Support Group organized by USAID to foster critical patient-centered support and provide encouragement to patients to stay in and complete TB treatment. She also met with community leaders trained by USAID to provide support to patients and families affected by TB.
Ambassador Spratlen also met with journalists trained by USAID who described improvements in media engagement for promotion of TB awareness, coverage of TB-related topics, and reduction of stigma and discrimination of those with TB.