The Problems of Tuberculosis among Migrant Workers and Injecting Drug Users were discussed in Qurghon Teppa and Kulob

Khatlon Region, Tajikistan, January 23/29, 2014 – Local authorities, community leaders, NGOs and medical specialists participated in two round tables organized within the framework of the USAID Dialogue on HIV and TB Project in Qurghon Teppa and Kulyab southern cities, on 23 and 29 January on the outcomes of the first round of the pilot project and discussion of issues that lead to joint and participative decision-making and problem solving.

The participants underlined the need for providing referral services to potential and returned migrant workers for TB diagnostics, increase of population's knowledge of the issues related to TB, treatment interruptions, stigma and discrimination as contributing factors to the spread of disease in Tajik society. One of the specific recommendations arising out of the roundtable discussions, and incorporated into the joint Plan of Action, was to increase control of tuberculosis among migrant workers.

The IOM study points to extreme vulnerability of migrant workers to tuberculosis due to many barriers to access health and social care in receiving countries, insufficient knowledge on TB, late diagnosis of disease and treatment interruptions because of a seasonal nature of migration.

The official statistical data also indicates a steady growth of reported TB cases among migrant workers that increased from 13,5 per cent in 2011 to 17,3 per cent in 2013.

The successful implementation of the first round of the USAID Dialogue on HIV and TB Project among migrant workers within the period from May 2012 to March 2013 resulted in continued donor support and launch of the second phase aimed at increasing the TB coverage to 14 thousand migrants.  

The USAID Dialogue on HIV and TB Project provides technical assistance, training, and direct outreach services to increase access to quality HIV and TB prevention and treatment services among the most-at-risk population groups. The program is implemented by a consortium of non-governmental organizations led by Population Services International, Inc. and includes Project HOPE, the AIDS Foundation East-West (AFEW), the “Kazakh Union of People Living with HIV/AIDS in RK” and International Organization of Migration.