The Mérieux Foundation supports the implementation of a programme for the care of patients with Multidrug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in Tajikistan

November 19, 2012 - Dushanbe (Tajikistan)


Fondation Mérieux is supporting the government of Tajikistan in the fight against tuberculosis.

The implementation of the DOTS strategy prompted the Government to ratify two National Programmes, the first for 2005 – 2010 and the second for 2010 – 2015. The latter programme has been implemented in partnership with HOPE, UNDP, WHO, MSF, CDC and Fondation Mérieux, and with financial support from USAID, the Global fund, and the German Development Bank (KFW).

Results from studies on Multidrug Resistant Tuberculosis prevalence carried out in 2008 in two pilot regions of Tajikistan revealed that multidrug resistance concerned 16% of new infections and 60% of prior infections. These findings, with the assistance of the Green Light Committee in 2009, have led to the introduction of second-line drugs for 50 patients. The programme currently covers 18 pilot areas with a total number of 1,120 patients with MDR-TB.

Following a decree from the Ministry of Health issued in 2011, the programme now includes treatment of patients with MDR-TB and provides for the rearrangement of beds in children’s wards and TB clinics.

The diagnosis of patients with MDR-TB will be relocated from the National TB Centre to the National Reference Laboratory. Since 2002, Tajikistan has been using all diagnostic methods for tuberculosis in accordance with the international standards and WHO recommendations.

In order to help the population gain greater benefit from a complete range of diagnostic services, the Ministry of Health launched the construction of a new laboratory with Bio-Safety Level 2 and 3. This laboratory will be fully operational by early 2013 and will work closely with the National TB Programme and Fondation Mérieux. This laboratory will be the first of its kind and will serve as the country’s pioneer scientific center of reference for the introduction of scientific innovations and development for TB diagnosis.