Central Asia Online (09.27.12)
On September 26, Anvar Beisembayev, co-ordinator of the TB Reach project under the National Centre for Tuberculosis Research of Kyrgyzstan, said that Kyrgyz medics are using a new method that allows for quicker diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB). Previously, the standard test entailed injecting PPD tuberculin and waiting for a skin reaction. The new method is a blood test in which a person’s blood sample is mixed with an agent to gauge reaction. Comparing the methods, Beisembayev notesd that the new method enables diagnosis of TB within two hours; whereas, the older method used to take three days. The new method gained worldwide application only last year. In the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), only Kyrgyzstan and Moldova are using this new method. Kyrgyzstan has installed six devices nationwide: one in Osh city, one in Chui Oblast, two in Bishkek, and two in prisons. He added that medics have used the devices to test 1,000 Kyrgyz and confirmed 115 TB cases. According to the Republic Medical Information Centre, Kyrgyzstan has registered 5,243 cases of TB so far in 2012. There are high case numbers in Bishkek and in Chui and Talas oblasts [regions]. Gulmira Aitmurzayeva, director of the Republic Centre for Strengthening Health, said that authorities have begun a public awareness campaign about TB in those areas.