Marking the World Day of Fight Against Tuberculosis in BiH
Worldwide, 24th March is celebrated as the Day of the fight against tuberculosis, to commemorate the day when, nearly 130 years ago, the German microbiologist Dr. Robert Koh discovered the microbe that causes tuberculosis (TB). Discovery of the TB bacillus is a first step towards diagnosing and treating TB, of which at that time was infected every seventh inhabitant of the globe. Thanks to the discovery of Dr.Koh, and proper use of resources and methods of treatment, number of deaths and the newly infected people has significantly reduced. However, this disease is not completely eradicated because one third of the world population, two billion people, is still infected with TB.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country with the highest number of newly registered TB cases in the region, but also country with the highest incidence in the region. It is therefore necessary to closely monitor developments and undertake all measures to improve the situation.
Within the UNDP project "Strengthening of DOTS Strategy and Improving National Tuberculosis Programme, Including Multidrug Resistant and Infection Control, in Bosnia and Herzegovina", funded by the Global Fund to fight HIV / AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, UNDP, in cooperation with NGOs, is implementing the following activities:
providing free diagnostic target populations through 6 mobile teams;
providing drugs to treat tuberculosis, which is delivered free of charge to patients registered; - supports the work of a network of patronage nurses who visit patients daily, in order to ensure regular prophylactic treatment;
provide basic hygiene and food packets to patients in need, in order to motivate them to adhere to prescribed treatment regimens.
UNDP has also developed and prepared Informational- Educational material that will be delivered to the families affected, the target population, as well as all citizens in BiH. Material will be distributed by the network of patronage nurses in health centers in BiH, TB Network Coordinator, and NGOs.
During the 2011UNDP supported the establishment of National Tuberculosis Programme (NTP) Unitis for the control of tuberculosis throughout the country; provided a training of staff involved, and worked on reconstruction and equipping of the NTP offices.
The plans for 2012 include reconstruction of the laboratories and the establishment of two departments for the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in accordance with European standards.