Today, Baroness Alison Suttie, a member of the House of Lords begins her first visit to Tajikistan.

According to the UK Embassy in Dushanbe, she will meet senior government officials, members of civil society and other organizations active on the treatment and prevention of TB in Tajikistan.  

Baroness Suttie is an experienced parliamentarian.  She has worked with and represented the Liberal Democrats in both British parliament and European parliament for more than 25 years.

She is the Vice-Chairperson for the UK-All Party Parliamentary Group on Global TB, where she has played an active  role in securing the establishment of a national TB strategy for the UK.  She is also the Vice-Chair of the Eurasian Parliamentary Group on TB and it is in that capacity that she now visits Tajikistan.  She has already worked with the parliamentarians  in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan on the national response to TB. 

Baroness Suttie is keen to engage with fellow parliamentarians on health issues and tuberculosis.  As well as Government and Parliamentarians she will meet other Tajik and international organizations active in this area of work. 

With annually around 6000 TB and 700 DR TB cases detected annually Tajikistan is among the 27 high multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) burden countries in the world.  The TB detection rate is very low and there is still a lack of human resource capacity to manage TB control, especially in rural areas at primary health care level.