TB Services of Dashoguz region Receive a New Modern Laboratory

Mar 23, 2016

National TB specialists test new equipment / UNDP Turkmenistan

Ashgabat, 23 March 2016: In the end of 2015, the UNDP project “Purposeful strengthening and Expanding of Qualified Services on TB Diagnostics and Treatment in Turkmenistan” has renovated a TB laboratory in Dashoguz region. Now TB patients and persons undergoing testing for TB do not need to travel to Ashgabat to receive their tests.

Before the project interventions, Dashoguz regional TB laboratory performed only basic light microscopy of sputum. Thus, the population of Dashoguz had no access to culture and drug susceptibility testing (DST) – critical investigations for quality treatment of TB. The UNDP project has conducted a full renovation of the building and provided the newest equipment at zero-cost to the state. The lab now performs a full standard range of tests for detection of TB and its drug resistance:

·        Microscopy testing with light and luminescent microscopy, the latter being more sensitive and providing qualitative, operational and cost advantages.

·        Xpert MTB/Rif technology detects TB within 2 hours and confirms its resistance to the most important drug – Rifampicin. This enables to isolate a patient and start treatment on the same day.

·        The molecular diagnostic test HAIN / PCR method detects TB within 48 hours confirming the resistance to the two types of drugs.

·        Automated BD BACTEC™ MGIT™ 960 testing on liquid media with the result available within 28 days, and offers resistance to the full range of first and second line antibiotics.

·        Culture investigation on solid media is considered a golden standard and is a final test to confirm the abovementioned results.

All reagents and consumables for the tests are supplied by the UNDP project. The lab is expected to perform at least 120 microscopic tests, 10 Xpert and 120 cultural tests per day. In addition, the lab will hold at least 30 planned drug-resistance tests per week. Thus, the diagnosis and treatment are expected to improve sufficiently, hastening the decline of burden of TB in the region.

During the course of the past four months, Lab Specialist of the UNDP project held a series of trainings for the lab specialists of the new lab to assure that they have the competencies required for the increased level of work. The trainings also covered safety standards and optimal use of the resources. In addition, the TB clinicians from across Dashoguz region were updated on the lab tests now available in their region so that to ensure utilization of existing diagnostics.

UNDP will continue providing technical, coordination and advisory support to the national TB laboratories of Turkmenistan, to ensure quality decentralized laboratory performance.

The UNDP project is financed by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Contact information

Rustam Alymov
Project Grant Manager
E-mail: rustam.alymov@undp.org

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