Fight Against Tuberculosis Continues
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative Yuri Afanasiev and Minister of Civil Affairs of BiH Sredoje Novic signed the Project Document announcing the continuation of the fight against tuberculosis in BiH. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) funds the $6.9 million worth two-year phase of the project designated as “Strengthening the DOTS Strategy and Improving the National Tuberculosis Programme, including Multidrug Resistant and Infection Control, in Bosnia and Herzegovina“. This project is being implemented by the UNDP.
Thanks to the activities carried out in the previous phases of the project, which started in 2007, the number of TB cases has been reduced by 40%. We have also seen significant improvements in TB identification and diagnostic through active search of TB cases.
However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) data from 2011, Bosnia and Herzegovina has the highest incidence rate (49 new cases per 100,000 population) among the countries in the region (Bulgaria 35; Turkey 24; Macedonia 20; Croatia 17; Montenegro 17; Serbia 16; and Slovenia 9.2). This indicates the need for continuous improvement of the fight against tuberculosis.
Planned in the new phase of the project is procurement of first- and second-line drugs for TB, reconstruction of 6 TB wards throughout BiH, procurement of equipment for 13 laboratories, and continued work of Red Cross and nursing network mobile units in communities with high-risk populations and with people with limited access to medical services. Another priority is improvement of TB control, TB medication management, improvement of the monitoring and evaluation system, improvement of TB control-related laboratory services throughout the country, and infection control pursuant to European and international standards and in compliance with bio-safety and quality control measures.
The implementation of the Project's second phase is coordinated by the Ministry of Civil Affairs of BiH, and participating in the implementation as grant sub-recipients are the Federal Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Republika Srpska, the Department of Health and Other Services of the Brcko District, and the Public Health Institutes of the Federation BiH and Republika Srpska. Also involved in the implementation of activities are two nongovernmental organizations, the BiH Red Cross Society and World Vision, which are focusing on population groups highly exposed to the risk of TB.
Since 2007, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has allocated around $20 million for the implementation of the project entitled, "Strengthening the DOTS Strategy and Improving the National Tuberculosis Programme, including Multidrug Resistant and Infection Control, in Bosnia and Herzegovina." This includes the new phase of the project, which will be implemented until September 2015.