U.S.-supported Conference Promotes Science and Technology to End Tuberculosis in Uzbekistan

A national conference devoted to the use of science and technology in the fight against tuberculosis (TB) kicked off in Tashkent today with specialized seminars for healthcare providers and laboratory specialists. The three-day conference continues in Karshi, Kashkadarya Region with additional seminars and sessions led by prominent TB experts from around the world.  This conference is sponsored by the United States through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the Republic of Uzbekistan Ministry of Health (MOH), and the Uzbekistan Center for Tuberculosis and Pulmonology.

One of many TB control initiatives supported by USAID in Uzbekistan, the conference provides a forum for over 100 [TBC] health professionals to share knowledge and experience and discuss successes and lessons learned from implementing the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ‘End TB Strategy’ in Uzbekistan.  Adopted in 2014, the strategy aims to end the global TB epidemic by reducing TB deaths by 95% and reducing new cases by 90% between 2015 and 2035 and ensuring that no family is burdened with catastrophic expenses as a result of TB.

To reach these ambitious goals, WHO has outlined three strategic pillars that include putting patients at the heart of service delivery; engaging governments and communities for bold policy change; and intensifying TB related research and innovation. This theme of year’s national conference, Science and Innovative Technologies in the Implementation of the End TB Strategy in Uzbekistan, reflects a growing commitment of Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Health and the Center for Tuberculosis and Pulmonology to reduce the burden of TB through innovative technologies.

At the conclusion of the event, conference participants will develop recommendations for partnerships between medical and non-medical service providers and civil society to provide patient-centered TB care based on innovative technology.

For nearly two decades, USAID has been providing assistance to Uzbekistan for TB control. In partnership with the Government of Uzbekistan, USAID’s current five-year, $7.6 million USAID TB Control Program aims to reduce the burden of TB and prevent multidrug-resistant forms of the disease in Uzbekistan. The program has been instrumental in introducing innovative evidence-based and patient-centered approaches to TB prevention, diagnostics, and treatment.