TB Control among Tajik Migrants Discussed in Dushanbe

Migration Health

Tajikistan - The Republic of Tajikistan is one of 27 high burden countries for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and returned Tajik migrant workers have been identified by the National TB Control Programme as one of the key vulnerable population groups. The proportion of the return migrants among new registered TB cases increased from from 13.5 percent of all cases in 2011 to 19.7 per cent in 2015. 

Over half a million Tajiks left home to work abroad last year, the majority going to the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan. They are attracted by the steady supply of work, high wages, the absence of a visa regime, relatively low travel expenses and a familiar local language and culture. With the lack of targeted interventions focusing on TB prevention and control around cross border migration and population mobility, this increase in infections weakens the pace of progress towards the elimination of tuberculosis.

To help control the spread of the disease IOM in Tajikistan and the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Republic of Tajikistan are organizing a three-day meeting this week to discuss a “minimum package” on cross border TB control and care among Tajik migrants leaving to Russian Federation. The meeting started yesterday (27/03) and continues until Wednesday. It will be attended by health and migration authorities from both countries.

The minimum package comprises political commitment (including the implementation of a legal framework for TB cross-border collaboration), financial mechanisms and adequate health service delivery (prevention, infection control, contact management, diagnosis and treatment, and psychosocial support).

Participants will discuss a number of issues including the capacity of state TB services; international experience on pre departure medical examination in the countries of origin; engagement of diaspora to prevent tuberculosis among migrants; procedures for analysis of Tajik medical certificates in the Russian Federation; and the legal framework for developing bilateral documents to improve cross-border cooperation for TB prevention, control and care.

“We are very pleased to be able to host this meeting which is crucial to TB control in an area which is seeing an alarming rise in the occurrence of the disease, particularly among migrants,” said Dragan Aleksosi, IOM Chief of Mission in Tajikistan. “The meeting contributes to the implementation of several international initiatives such as the Minimum Package for Cross Border TB Control and Care from the Wolfheze Consensus Statement; the World Health Assembly Resolution 61.17 on the health of migrants and the WHO Post-2015 Global TB Strategy.”

For further information please contact Rukhshona Qurbonova at IOM Tajikistan, Tel + 992 90 505 43 00, Email: [email protected]

A mobile TB vehicle parked in Dushanbe Airport. File photo: IOM
Dr. Vadim Vitaliyevich Testov, deputy of the director of the Research Center on pulmonology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation greets participants a the TB workshop in Dushanbe, Tajikistan today.  Photo: IOM