The Republic of Kazakhstan is the world’s largest landlocked country by area and one of the countries with the lowest population density. Bordering Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and China, Kazakhstan has a rich history and culture stemming from centuries of rule by nomadic tribes as well as by the Mongols, the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. Today, Kazakhstan’s economy is the largest in central Asia and focusses predominantly on its hydrocarbon industry and the export of agricultural products. Although Kazakhstan is generally considered an economic success, the Kazakh healthcare system is in a tradition of privatization in which KNCV is working hard to ensure the inclusion of affordable TB-care at private clinics.
Tuberculosis in the country
After peaking around the turn of the millennium, the prevalence and incidence of TB in Kazakhstan has been on a steady decrease with a notable exception for HIV and TB combinations which have risen since 2005. More alarming however is the 26% of TB patients who are diagnosed with Multi Drug resistant-TB, putting Kazakhstan in the WHO list of the 22 nations labelled as suffering under a high-burden of MDR-TB. Roughly 1500 people die annually of TB in Kazakhstan.
KNCV Activities in the country
As part of the Dutch Government funded Improving TB/HIV Prevention & Care, building models for the future project, KNCV provides long-term technical assistance to the National TB program of Kazachstan. Through work on the ground, KNCV aims for more effective use of available Global Fund funding in order to control and eventually eliminate tuberculosis. The private sector and NGOs have been engaged through stakeholder meetings and progress is being made to ensure the current transition towards a privatized healthcare system includes diagnosis and care for TB patients.