About one third of the world’s population is infected with tuberculosis (TB) bacteria, however only a small proportion of those infected will become sick with TB. Up to 20 million lives have been saved since 1995 through the DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment Short-course) and the Stop TB Strategies.
Tuberculosis Control Department opened in Foča and Trebinje
On 1st November 2013, Hospitals in Foča and Trebinje obtained Tuberculosis Ward, which guarantee improved quality of patient treatments and timely diagnosis. Dragan Bogdanić , Minister of Health and Social Welfare of the Republic of Srpska, Mr. Armin Sirčo, UNDP Senior Coordinator and Social Inclusion and Democratic Governance Sector Leader and Lindsey Cole , portfolio manager of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) for Eastern Europe and Central Asia were attending open ceremony.
"This initiative is part of a bigger programme that is implemented in Republika Srpska and whole territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and refers to the control of tuberculosis, improving direct treatment of TB patients and treatment of MDR-TB patients. Three projects in Republika Srpska are in the final stage of implementation, two departments and one laboratory, from total of five projects that are in the implementation stage in the Republika Srpska. It is planned that the works will be completed by the end of 2015, and their total value amounted to 2.110.000,000 BAM," said Lindsey Cole.
The reconstruction of the both Departments in the amount of BAM 190.000 was mostly financed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) and implemented within the UNDP Project "Strengthening of DOTS Strategy and Improving National Tuberculosis Programme, including Multidrug Resistant Tuberculosis and Infection Control".
Mr. Armin Sirčo, UNDP Senior Coordinator and Social Inclusion and Democratic Governance Sector Leader, pointed out that this was a continuation of the successful cooperation between UNDP and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the Republika Srpska, which had started with education and training organized for professionals working in the laboratory of the hospitals in Foča and Trebinje and the reconstruction of the TB laboratory in University Hospital Foča in March this year.
“Moreover, using the funds provided by the GFATM, UNDP will deliver laboratory equipment to the Hospital Foča by the end of the year, which will allow for both improved quality of patient treatments and timely diagnosis”, he added.
Using the funds provided by the GFATM, UNDP has launched activities aimed at reconstructing TB control departments in Brčko, Trebinje, Foča, Travnik, Doboj and Bihać in 2013, and ensured their compliance with international recommendations. In addition, UNDP ensures procurement of the necessary anti-tuberculosis drugs in order to make this segment of medical care free of charge for all patients.