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Special Delivery! Equipment and Supplies donated by us companies help the fight against tuberculosis in the kyrgyz republic

On a sunny day in November, a delivery truck arrives at a Family Medical Center in the city of Jalal-Abad in southern Kyrgyzstan. The atmosphere is cheerful: the truck is full of new medical equipment and supplies!

Since the beginning of 2016, a group of 20 American businesses specialized in manufacturing medical equipment and supplies have donated nearly 15 metric tons of items from their production to healthcare facilities across Kyrgyzstan.

These manufacturers include well-known companies such as Welch Allyn, Johnson & Johnson, and Glaxosmithkline. They came together to support Kyrgyzstan's ongoing battle against tuberculosis (TB), a disease that kills close to 400 people every year.

Mrs Tynara Kasymalieva from the Resource and Policy Exchange organisation proudly shows the durable and high quality equipment received from the United States.

The donation and delivery to Kyrgyzstan were made possible with the work of the USAID Defeat TB Project and a non-governmental organization called the Resource and Policy Exchange. In 2015 they consulted professionals across the TB healthcare system to identify gaps in their efforts to stem the epidemic. It was found that they lacked a lot of basic supplies and equipment to meet infectious control measures and achieve modernization objectives to make treatment more effective and less costly for the government.

Mrs Elmira Imashova, Head Nurse at the Jalal-Abad Family Health Center, carefully inspects the condition of the shipment.
Durable and precise equipment in local health facilities tend to motivate people to seek care there because they know they will receive quality services.

The equipment includes instruments to measure hearing loss among TB patients with drug resistant forms of the disease. The treatment of these forms of TB involve strong drugs which side effects can include permanent hearing loss. The timely detection of this phenomenon allows doctors to adjust their patient’s drug regimen and prevent this.

Audiometers can prevent permanent hearing loss for some patients.
Quality medical supplies and equipment allow medical workers to provide quality services to people seeking health care

The total value of the donations until now is close to $1.2 million. More is expected to arrive in Kyrgyzstan over the next few years to support the country in its battle against the TB epidemic.

Mrs Imashova explains that stethoscopes purchased on the local market usually break after one year, while the ones from the US will last five, sometimes up to 10 years!
"I have been working here for 24 years so I have seen many projects" explains Mrs Imashova, "but this is the only one that provides us with actual medical equipment and supplies to help us in our work!"

The USAID Defeat TB Project is a five-year endeavor designed to reduce the burden of tuberculosis (TB) in the Kyrgyz Republic. Its implementation limits the development of drug-resistant forms of the disease, supports equitable access to quality health care for vulnerable groups, and strengthens the national healthcare system.

This publication is made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the sole responsibility of Abt Associates Inc. and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

Credits:

Photos by Olivier Le Blanc

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