Kyrgyz Republic improves the quality of tuberculosis laboratories and the TB drug management practices

Bishkek. On March 26 and 27, the National Tuberculosis (TB) Center is organizing two round tables to discuss the results of USAID Quality Health Care Project supported work to improve the Kyrgyz Republic’s TB Laboratory services and TB Drug Management practices. Representatives of the Ministry of Health, the National TB Program, primary health care facilities, and international organizations will attend the event. The March 26 event is from 9:30 to 2 pm at the Park Hotel (87, Orozbekova St.) and the March 27 event is from 10:00 – 1 pm at the Golden Dragon hotel (60, Elebaeva St.).

Smear microscopy is the main diagnostic method used to identify TB and to monitor the effectiveness of treatment. Regular quality control of this method is important to ensure that TB cases are not being missed or falsely diagnosed in laboratories. The External Quality Assurance (EQA) program is an internationally recognized standard that allows laboratories to regularly evaluate their performance and to improve the accuracy of their results. Prior to 2013, the improved EQA techniques were not employed widely in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Since 2013, with the support of the USAID Quality Health Care Project, the countrywide coverage by the EQA system has grown from 35% to 93%. The Project has trained staff of 120 of the existing 129 laboratories in the country and organized on-the-job training to help institutionalize the EQA expansion. Gulshan Mataeva, Head of Laboratory for the Bishkek TB Center and National EQA Coordinator says “As a result of USAID support, we are now able to assess quality of microscopy, to perform all the procedures in a systematic way, and to provide accurate results to doctors.”  Building on the positive initial results, the National Reference Laboratory, a state institution that supervises laboratories nationwide and ensures the quality of early TB diagnosis, is preparing decrees to institutionalize the EQA system.

The USAID Quality Health Care Project developed and trained the republic’s health care staff on Standard Operating Procedures on TB Drug Management in order to ensure a standardized approach to the selection, procurement, quantification, storage, distribution and rational use of TB drugs. The project also helped the National TB Program register the newest generation of TB drugs and ensure the supply of quality pediatric TB drugs.

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For more information contact: Stobdan Kalon, Phone:(312 )622204; (312) 624318 Email: