In the Field: TB Control in Kazakhstan
Today, the temperature in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, is expected to reach a high of seven degrees Fahrenheit. Certainly colder than Central Texas -- but that didn’t stop Migrant Clinicians Network’s Deliana Garcia, Director of International Projects and Emerging Issues. Garcia headed to the frigid Central Asian country last week to participate in the third high-level meeting to review progress made on Kazakhstan’s Comprehensive Plan on Tuberculosis (TB) Control and the activities to address TB among migrants and improve their access to medical services. Facilitated by Project HOPE, the discussion was focused on TB among labor migrants. Representatives from state agencies, national TB programs, health care facilities, Diasporas and the non-government sector shared their accomplishments from the past 12 months. Garcia, along with other expert consultants, commented on the progress made in cross-border TB control in the region and shared their vision for future actions.
“An end to transborder TB requires that inter-sectoral engagement and coordination among the government structures: TB services, primary health care, and civil society must be developed and improved over time to better serve migrants,” remarked Garcia. “We have demonstrated with Health Network that migration does not have to be an impediment to care. Project HOPE’s Addressing TB, M/XDR-TB and TB/HIV Among Labor Migrants in the Republic of Kazakhstan program is proving the same thing in Central Asia.”
Garcia brought MCN’s expertise in the development of cross-border TB control via Health Network, our bridge case management system for mobile patients. Garcia’s work in Kazakhstan holds up Health Network as a model of successful transnational TB response. This year’s panel discussion built upon the groundwork established during last year’s December meeting.
Recommendations formulated during the conference were incorporated into a resolution that will serve as a foundation for continued implementation of the Project HOPE Program in support of the Comprehensive Plan on Tuberculosis Control in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2014-2020.
“MCN has a long history of developing practical solutions to address poverty, migration, and health,” Garcia emphasized. “Our contribution to a discussion of TB and migration in the context of the WHO’s End TB Strategy is built on more than 20 years of direct action. I am proud that our work is being recognized by others working to improve the health of migrants.”
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