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Global Health

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New birth standards save lives
USAID helps implement neonatal care and safe motherhood practices to prevent and manage complications of low birth weight newborns. Alcel, a young mother, holds her premature baby, which weighs only 1,700 grams (3.4 pounds).

U.S.-funded  programs focus on increasing access to key services to help prevent the transmission and contain the expansion of both TB and HIV. Kazakhstan’s epidemic growth of tuberculosis (TB) continues to present a major challenge to the country’s health care system and to the country’s continued economic development. The country has the second-highest estimated TB rate in the World Health Organization’s European Region (53 countries) and high and rapidly growing rates of multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB. Located along the illicit drug transport corridor from Afghanistan, Kazakhstan is also faced with a growing HIV/AIDS epidemic, fueled largely by people who inject drugs, but which is also spreading through sexual transmission from intravenous drug users to their sexual partners.

On TB, USAID supports activities that improve the delivery of prevention, care and treatment services; enhance the capacities of institutions to address MDR TB; and develop systems to strengthen the diagnosis of MDR TB; and improve infection control practices. USAID works with civilian and prison health officials to expand use of patient-centered outpatient treatment approaches. USAID also helps health providers, communities, and patients to understand and address the treatment and care of TB and MDR TB. Finally, USAID is helping to facilitate implementation of GeneXpert, a technology that will greatly expedite the diagnosis of MDR TB and further enhance the effectiveness of laboratory diagnostics.

Through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), USAID works with the Government of Kazakhstan and in close collaboration with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to expand access to comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care services for the most at-risk populations and to reduce barriers, including stigma and discrimination, that constrain knowledge of their status and limit their access to services. USAID also focuses on strengthening the capacities of national and local institutions, NGOs, and individuals to enable them to more effectively lead the planning, delivery and monitoring of quality services for most at-risk populations.

In support of USAID Forward priorities, USAID also awarded grants to two local organizations to support activities to increase awareness about family planning and reproductive health services and improve the quality of infant feeding at orphanages.