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Improving the health of the population in Romania by increasing TB control

Project financed by the Norwegian Grants 2009 - 2014, within the RO 19 - Public Health Initiative.

During the second part of February 2015, the 2015 – 2020 National Tuberculosis Control Strategy was endorsed by Government Ordinance. The legal document aims at reducing the incidence and mortality through TB, by ensuring prevention, detection, diagnostic, treatment and treatment adherence services, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations.

The development of the National Tuberculosis Control Strategy as coordinated by the Ministry of Health, with assistance from the World Health Organization, and the working group was formed of experts from national and international institutions and organizations, such as “Marius Nasta” Institute of Pulmonology, “Prof. Dr. Matei Balș” National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Romanian Angel Appeal Foundation, the Association for the MDR TB Patients Support.

Among the specific objectives of the National Tuberculosis Control Strategy to be met by 2020, are the following:

  • ensure universal access to rapid diagnosis methods;
  • diagnose at least 85% of all estimated drug sensitive TB and multidrug resistant TB cases;
  • successfully treat at least 90% of new culture positive TB cases and 85% of all retreatment cases;
  • successfully treat 75% of MDR-TB cases;
  • reduce overall TB mortality rate to 4.3 per 100 000 population;
  • general decrease of the disease incidence;
  • general improvement of the health system capacity to control TB.

Other results estimated to be reached after the implementation of the Strategy:

  • decrease the global incidence rate of the disease from 72,9 cases per 100.000 population in 2013, to less than 50 cases per 100.000 population in 2020;
  • decrease the number of deaths from 5,3 per 100.000 population, in 2013, to less than 5 per 100.000 population in 2020;
  • decrease the total number of patients from 15.523 notified cases in 2013, to less than 10.000 cases in 2020.

According to the news published on the Internet website of the Government, “the endorsement of the National TB Control Strategy makes possible to mobilize resources from the European structural funds during 2014-2020 and from other European non-reimbursable funds. It is foreseen that the Strategy shall be funded by: 145 million lei from structural funds from the 2014-2020 fiscal period, 46 million lei from funds donated by Norway, 37 million from the Global Fund to Fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, allocations from the state budget, other reimbursable and non-reimbursable funds. The total budget of the 2015-2020 Strategy for the diagnostic, treatment, labs equipment, surveillance activities and human resources is up to 1,571 billion lei.”

The National Tuberculosis Control Strategy aims at ensuring the conditions to eradicate TB as a public health problem in Romania, by 2050.