24 September 2021 -- The Global TB Caucus recently held an online bilateral visit between heads of national TB Caucuses in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan on matters regarding the Uzbekistan national TB Caucus. The heads discussed the experiences of both countries and key ideas on the role of parliamentarians in the response to Tuberculosis during the COVID-19 pandemic, which will notably affect the overall achievement of the UN High-Level TB Meeting indicators.
A representative from the Global Fund (GF), Mr. Alexey Bobrik, a fund Portfolio Manager of Eastern Europe and Central Asia Team, initially gave words of welcome during this major event. Eventually, this talk expanded into a lively discussion among participants, leading to an exchange of insights with him on the main challenges of achieving targets on treating MDR-TB in the EECA region.
They shared that these concerns are true in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, especially highlighting the need to bring awareness to politicians on the upcoming transition of the Global Fund in the EECA region and the need to prepare medical systems, particularly Ambulatory TB treatment. They emphasised that this treatment should still be a priority in these countries given its role in helping save costs and achieving higher results in treating TB.
The heads also discussed during the meetings with other participants, representatives from CSO sector, the issue of TB migrant protection rights and its importance. Mr. Alexey then expanded on the urgent need to prepare a good legislation background for this purpose.
Furthermore, Dr. Askar Edilbaev - the TB Team Lead of the Division of Country Health Programs for WHO Regional Office for Europe - gave a (recorded) presentation on the “Implementation of the strategy for the elimination of TB in the WHO European Region”, which helped participants have a better, overall picture of the TB burden in the region. Mr. Sergey Uchaev from NGO "ISHONCH VA HAYOT", lastly, gave an impactful presentation on the system of financing civil society on COVID and TB from the state budget.
Overall, what arose from this eventful discourse was a promising result: the consideration to sign a Declaration on TB migration prepared by the Global TB Caucus, a document that may be signed this week once approved. Alongside this good news, parliamentarians from Uzbekistan are due to consider conducting a parliamentary meeting on TB issues soon.
Members present during the online bilateral were:
Mr. Jamshed Murtazakulov - Head of the National TB Caucus of Tajikistan
Ms. Oral Ataniyazova - Head of the National TB Caucus of Uzbekistan
Those interested in the meeting may contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details as well as a recording of the online bilateral visit.