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New opportunities of training medical personnel in fighting tuberculosis

26 January 2009: A new training centre for medical personnel was officially opened yesterday at the premises of the Scientific and Research Institute of Pulmonology and Phthisiology of the Ministry of Health of Belarus. The centre was established under the UNDP/Ministry of Health project “Support of the National Programme “Tuberculosis” in the Republic of Belarus” financed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The centre will help increase the potential of the national anti–TB service and the primary medical network by raising the level of knowledge and professionalism of experts in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis. The project provided support in procurement of furniture and equipment for the centre, connecting it to the Internet, developing curricula for training specialists in line with the requirements of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“As Belarus was largely cut off from the international expertise in the area of TB control, today with the assistance of the Global Fund’s grant we have the opportunity to open the window of cooperation and knowledge sharing with other countries. I welcome the opening of the centre and I hope that it will develop excellent programmes with other centres in the European countries”, said Antonius Broek, UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus.

Doctors, nurses, lab assistants of anti–TB institutions and general medical network will have an opportunity to participate in workshops on modern methods of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis. International experts will be invited to train national specialists in phthisiology. For example, on 26–30 January, the centre hosts the first training course for phthisiatricians “Treatment and nursing of tubercular patients with multiple anti–drug resistance” arranged in partnership with the WHO Cooperation Centre for Training and Research on Multi–Resistant Tuberculosis based in Riga (Latvia). 32 phthisiatricians of anti–TB institutions of Belarus participate in the course.

Opening of the centre is the first stage of the National information and prevention programme “White Camomile” timed to World TB Day TB observed on 24 March.

For reference: The project  “Support of the National Programme “Tuberculosis” in the Republic of Belarus” is designed to support the Programme for 2005–2009. The main objective of the project is to enhance efficiency of measures to reduce and prevent further spread of tuberculosis infection in Belarus. The project provides for a comprehensive use of direct observation treatment strategy in practical work of the state health system and development of the capacity of the national reference laboratory.

For additional information please refer to Natalya Nemkevich, PR Specialist of the project, at tel./fax 299–51–88, 299–53–17, (029) 127–68–62, or Vladislav Khilkevich, UNDP Communication Associate, at 227–38–17, e–mail: .

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