World TB Day
In honor of an epochal discovery of Tuberculosis bacillus (TB), which was announced by German scientist Dr. Robert Koh on 24th March 1882, this date is celebrated throughout the World as a World TB Day. The discovery of TB bacillus marked the first step in the direction of diagnosis and treatment of Tuberculosis – the disease from which, at that time, every seventh inhabitant of our planet died.
Unfortunately, this contagious disease has not been routed out completely while in 1991 it was declared as a global public-health concern.
During the recent decades, the European Region has been faced with a high incidence of Tuberculosis which was caused by limited capacities of health systems, poor social and economic situation, migrations and other factors. A particular problem is the development of a form of Tuberculosis resistant to several TB drugs used to treat this disease (MDR-TB).
Since 2007, United Nations Development Programme is implementing the project “Strengthening of DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment, Short-Course) Strategy and Improving National Tuberculosis Programme, Including Multidrug Resistant and Infection Control, in Bosnia and Herzegovina”.
The implementation of this project is supported by Ministry of Civil Affairs BiH, Federal Ministry of Health, Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Republika Srpska and Department for Health and other services of Brčko District, and the project is financed through funds received from The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM).
Through the aforementioned project, the free of charge anti TB drugs are secured to all patients in BiH suffering from Tuberculosis, education of health professionals is provided and is in accordance to new guidelines for fight against Tuberculosis, reconstruction and equipping of laboratories has been undertaken for a more efficient diagnostics of Tuberculosis, as well as work of National Tuberculosis Programmes within Public Health Institutes has been supported. Besides these activities, UNDP supports the work of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that were, during the recent period, actively involved in the area of education of BiH citizens on Tuberculosis, as well as conduct of prevention screenings on Tuberculosis.
In the future period, UNDP will continue with the implementation of project activities such as reconstruction of TB Wards for treatment of TB patients, establishment of Department for Treatment of MDR TB patients in accordance to EU standards as well as support to governmental institutions and NGOs in the implementation of DOTS Strategy.