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Interregional workshop for heads of regional TB laboratories from Northwest Russia in St. Petersburg 2008-2010 - part I

Project title Interregional workshop for heads of regional TB laboratories from Northwest Russia in St. Petersburg 2008-2010 - part I
Database Data inserted through the NDPHS Project Pipeline
ID in the source database 12
Thematic area Tuberculosis
Topic In order to enhance networking between regional TB laboratories and improve bacteriological diagnostics in North-West Russia the project will organize in autumn 2008 a two-and-half-day workshop in St. Petersburg. From 10 to 15 heads of regional TB laboratories in civilian and penitentiary sector will be invited to this workshop.
Project geographical area Russia
Substate level / administrative units /regions
  • Arkhangelsk Oblast
  • Kaliningrad Oblast
  • Karelia Republic
  • Komi Republic
  • Leningrad Oblast
  • Murmansk Oblast
  • Nenets AO
  • Novgorod Oblast
  • Pskov Oblast
  • St. Petersburg
  • Vologda Oblast
Lead partner (organisation) Filha (Finnish Lung Health Association)
Lead partner (owner or/and project manager) no data
Partner organisations
Start date 2008-02-14
End date 2009-03-31
Duration (months) 13
Target audience 1. Direct beneficiaries:
-Regional TB programmes in North-West Russia
-Filha
2. Indirect beneficiaries:
-TB patients
-TB laboratory staff in civilian and penitentiary care in North-West Russia -Finnish TB programme
3. Other stakeholders:
In Russia:
-St. Petersburg City TB Dispensary
-St. Petersburg Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases
-WHO Office, Moscow
In Finland:
-Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
-Ministry for Foreign Affairs
-Filha
-Mycobacterial Reference Laboratory of the National Public Health Institute
Summary The tuberculosis (TB) situation has remained difficult in Russia. In recent years, the emergence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has aggravated the situation. A major constrain for development of effective tuberculosis control programmes in Russia has been the insufficient tuberculosis laboratory services. In 2004, 2005 and 2007 Filha has organised interregional laboratory workshops for the heads of the laboratories working in Filha assisted TB cooperation projects (Annex 1. Workshop Programmes in 2004, 2005 and 2007). Such training has proved to be successful and enhanced networking among the participating parties. Russian parties (St.Petersburg City TB Dispensary, Murmansk TB Dispensary, TB Dispensary of the Karelian Republic and St. Petersburg Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases) have expressed the need to continue these training activities and to expand the focus area to cover the whole territory of North-West Russia. The WHO has expressed the continuous need for training in this field and supports this project initiative. The overall objective of the project is to strengthen the regional TB control programmes. The purpose is to improve the knowledge of and networking between the heads of the regional TB laboratories both in civilian and penitentiary sector in North-West Russia. A two and half-day workshop will be organised in September 2008, 2009 and 2010 in St. Petersburg. It will be offered to heads of TB laboratories working in both civilian and penitentiary TB services in North-West Russia. The project will be implemented by Filha in collaboration with the WHO, the Central TB laboratory of the St. Petersburg City TB Dispensary and the Mycobacterial Reference Laboratory, the National Public Health Institute of Finland. The total budget for 2008 is 40 320 euros. The applied amount of support from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is 33 290 euros. The proposed project contributes to the prevention of infectious diseases in the Neighbouring Areas of Finland in the frame of the Northern Dimension Partnership Programme. The knowledge gained will also benefit the Finnish TB Programme.
Background In the early 1990s, the incidence of TB started to increase in the Russian Federation and by 2000, at its peak, the TB incidence had more than doubled. Since then TB incidence rates have slightly decreases or reached a plateau. In recent years the emergence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has aggravated the situation. In North-West Russia the average rate of MDR among new detected TB cases has increased from 16,8% in 2005 to 20,8% in 2006. Laboratory services are a fundamental component of a national or regional TB control programme and a core part of the internationally recommended TB control strategy. Diagnosis of TB and monitoring of treatment progress relies on effective microbiology services, including sputum smear microscopy, culture examination and drug susceptibility testing (DST). TB is an airborne infection and it is of vital importance to isolate infectious patients as soon as possible from the society and also from other patients. With emergence of MDR cases and further more of extensively drug-resistant (XDR) cases, for which we do not have any effective treatment, the need for fast and reliable diagnosis is further increased. The Russian Federation has an expanded network of tuberculosis laboratory services in both Primary Health Care services and TB services. Often the number of primary laboratories performing TB microscopic examinations is so large that qualitatively good work cannot be performed due too small number of examinations per unit. On the other hand in many regions the culture confirmation rate remains far too low in international comparison meaning also low capacity in detecting drug resistance. This can be caused either due to insensitive culture methods or negligence in collecting and submitting sputum specimens for culture. A clear vision on what is important in development of an effective network of services is needed. In organisation of internal and external quality assessments and reorganisation of the infrastructure the experiences of neighbouring areas can be of great value. The bacteriological methods used for cultivation and drug susceptibility testing have in many regions remained unchanged for well over 30-40 years until the recent years. Thus laboratory verification of tuberculosis, which using modern methodology optimally takes 2-3 weeks, takes 2-3 months, and drug resistance testing against first line drugs take another 4 weeks while the modern gene technology would allow a fast suspicion of MDR in few days. These delays are severely hampering the prevention of spread of MDR tuberculosis. At present there is expansive development of modern technology and rigorous marketing of new methods as well in Western Europe as in Russian Federation. The heads of the TB laboratories face a huge challenge in deciding which methods are applicable in their circumstances. The TB laboratory network faces a serious shortage of staff, in many places only roughly half of the positions are filled. One factor affecting the willingness of young laboratory professionals to seek employment in TB sector is fear of occupational tuberculosis, another factor the lack of updated infrastructure and equipments. There is a clear need to improve biosafety standards as well as existing infrastructure and equipment. All above mentioned factors favour a closer cooperation between the heads of regional TB laboratories in this rapidly changing environment. Human resource capacity building through training and development of a model for effective laboratory services at the central level should lead to improvements in laboratory diagnosis at all levels.
Objectives The general objective of the project is to strengthen regional TB control programmes.
Specific objectives/indicators The specific objective of the project is to improve services of Regional TB laboratories both in civilian and penitentiary care in North-West Russia. Monitoring indicators: -geographical coverage -number of heads of laboratories participating in workshops -perceived changes in personal performance
Results Expected results: -Increased networking between the Regional TB laboratories in North-West Russia -Increased understanding of effective organisation of the TB laboratory services -Strengthened skills and abilities to apply update knowledge in regional TB laboratories
Total foreseen budget EUR 40,320
Total implementation costs
(for completed projects, if available)
no data
Conversion to € was done on
(according to the relevant
exchange rate at
Infoeuro Monthly Files)
no data
Financing agencies / organisations Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
Project's URL / project's website no data
Papers associated with this project no data
Further information no data
Last posted: on 2011-03-21 at 10:02:04

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