Romanian Angel Appeal logo

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.

On 8 August 2014, the “Marius Nasta” Institute of Pulmonology in Bucharest, in partnership with the Romanian Angel Appeal Foundation, the Centre for Health Policies and Services Foundation and the LHL International Tuberculosis Foundation in Norway began the implementation of the project Improving the health status of the Romanian population through increased tuberculosis control”. The aim of this project is to strengthen the control of tuberculosis in Romania, focusing especially on multidrug-resistant and extensively resistant tuberculosis (MDR/XDR TB) and on poor and vulnerable groups.

“The importance of the implementation of this programme speaks for itself. Romania has the highest tuberculosis and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis incidence in the European Union. Approximately 10,000 patients are to be tested and 1,000 patients will be treated thanks to the Norwegian support in the fight against tuberculosis in Romania. This is an important step in the eradication of tuberculosis, both in this country and in Europe.” Tove Bruvik Westberg, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to Romania.

With a total budget of over EUR 10 million, the project is financed in a proportion of 85% by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009 – 2014, within the Public Health Initiatives Programme, the Programme Operator being the Ministry of Health. 15% of the project’s budget represents co-financing from the state budget.

“Tuberculosis is a public health priority for the Ministry of Health and for the Romanian Government. This is why the Ministry of Health has approved a series of measures for the improvement of the National Tuberculosis Prevention, Surveillance and Control Programme, the most important of which being the increase by over 50% of this year’s budget of the National Tuberculosis Control Programme and the approval of the Strategic Plan for the Control of Tuberculosis in Romania 2015-2020.” Suzana Matei, the manager of the Public Health Initiatives Programme, from the Ministry of Health.

The main activities included in the project concern the endowment of 8 laboratories with modern equipment for the rapid diagnosis of tuberculosis and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, the continuous treatment with quality medication of a number of 1,000 patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, the support of 2,500 patients during outpatient treatment, the update of the national database of the National Tuberculosis Control Programme, the purchase of 2,000 UV lamps to be provided to the TB units, the training of 960 doctors, nurses and administrative staff in the control of TB infection.

“We are hoping that through this project we will increase the treatment success rate, because we have one of the highest success rates for drug-susceptible tuberculosis, i.e. 85%, but this rate is very poor for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.” Dr. Gilda Popescu, Technical Coordinator of the National Tuberculosis Control Programme.