DUSHANBE, March 14, 2011, Asia-Plus -- The U.S. Government conducted one-day training for practicing pharmacists, improving their skills as key agents in the battle to detect tuberculosis on March 11.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe, twenty pharmacists from Dushanbe, Vahdat, Qurghon Teppa, Kulob and Khujand learned to recognize TB symptoms and refer those with symptoms to local TB-diagnostics facilities.  The training is part of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Dialogue on HIV and TB Project.

The training helped pharmacists identify TB symptoms and taught skills for counseling and referring at-risk customers to healthcare facilities. Also, participants learned about TB and the consequences of inaccurate treatment.  Finally, the training addressed the risks of selling TB drugs through non-specialized dispensaries such as general drug stores.

The USAID Dialogue on HIV and TB Project provides technical assistance, training and direct outreach services to the most at-risk populations, such as sex workers, intravenous drug users, people living with HIV, prisoners and migrants. The project operates pilot programs in five countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

The USAID Dialogue on HIV and TB Project is one of the many assistance projects the American people, through U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe, have provided in support of the people of Tajikistan.  Since 1992, the American people have provided approximately $900 million in programs that support Tajikistan’s democratic institutions, health care, education and economic growth.