The Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society in frame of the TB NGO Coalition make efforts in responding to new type of coronavirus in the Republic of Azerbaijan
1.Beginning from February to May, Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society (ARCS), the member of the Coalition started to conduct awareness campaigns on TB and COVID-19 and distribute food parcels among socially vulnerable groups with support of IFRC. In frame of the project food parcels are made and delivered to 65 TB patients (3 nurses and former prisoners are included) who are currently on TB treatment in civilian TB facilities. The ex-prisoners are the most vulnerable groups of the population, they lost their working places related to COVID-19 lockdown where they worked as a day labor. With this initiative, at least, their food need are provided.
On 7 February, March 26, April 17, April 23, May 12 2020, Matanat Garakhanova, the Coalition member and the coordinator of “Community-based health program” of ARCS had a live consultation/ informational online sessions (via Instagram, zoom) on TB and COVID-19 for government and NGO representatives on all meetings participanted 80 person).
Another activity are carried out by AzRCS was designed and printed educational materials on TB and Coronavirus. The leaflets are distributed among population of different districts and branches of Azerbaijan, also presented to the supermarkets, pharmacies.
- TB REP 2.0 – is a regional project which is implemented by the Centre for Health Policies and Studies, a key recipient of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in partnership with civil society organizations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. TB Regional EECA Project (TB-Rep) aims to increase a commitment to end TB and support countries to implement effective and efficient TB service. One of the 11 Eastern European and Central Asian NGOs that are sub-recipients of the TB REP 2.0 program is “Saglamliga Khidmat” Public Union. At the same time, it is an organization leading the NGO Coalition against Tuberculosis in Azerbaijan. It should be noted that the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society is involved in all TB prevention activities as a one of the active member of the NGO Coaliton against Tuberculosis.
A new One impact Azerbaijan Mobile application was developed and launched by TB-REP-2.0 to support TB patients with the financial support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. OneImpact Azerbaijan is a mobile-based application that allows TB patients and communities to learn how to communicate with other TB patients and TB services. In addition, it allows users to get information on the barriers related to TB, if any. The application also helps users to find health facilities/pharmacies close to them. The mobile application is currently in active use. The introduction of this tool has further strengthened partnerships between stakeholders in the Republic of Azerbaijan aimed at helping and supporting people affected by TB. OneImpact enabled us to identify the main barriers that people with TB face. More than half of the requests are related to economic barriers, the second place is taken by the problems of stigmatization of people with TB, a third of requests are related to the need for social services, the issues regarding treatment are also received.
The data analyzed is helping the TB-affected community in collaboration with government agencies to improve access to TB services, quickly remove human rights and gender barriers to prevention, treatment and care, and to make better use of financial resources. Continuous monitoring helps inform decision-makers and stakeholders about the barriers to human rights (availability, accessibility, acceptability, quality and equity of services) and subsequently reform policy and improve decision-making towards ending TB in the country.
In addition to directly supporting people (TB patients, PLHIV, medical staff, members of the supporting group, total 600) affected by TB and responding to their problems, we use this data to create a convincing evidence base for further advocacy activities OneImpact Azerbaijan program is implemented by specially trained trainers. Matanat Garahanova, coordinator of the “Community-based health” program of the Azerbaijani Red Crescent Society is involved in the implementation of this program among patients (hospitals and TB dispensaries).