2021-22 GCRF TB-SRPN Young Scholars Research Support Programme

The GCRF Tuberculosis Social Research and Policy Network Young Scholar Research Support Programme aims to strengthen research capacity in the post-Soviet countries via:

linking local early career researchers to the established researchers with relevant expertise from all around the world;

supporting them in the implementation of the policy-relevant research;

equipping them with tools to work in collaboration with policy makers and other stakeholders;

promoting adherence to the highest standards of academic integrity

Sultan Muratov
Associate in Research at Duke University

Research project

"Tuberculosis, radiation exposure, and

environmental catastrophes: findings from


Kazakhstan has an extensive history of atomic testing, “peaceful” nuclear explosions, and environmental catastrophes, such as desiccation of the Aral Sea. Despite the existence of some earlier studies, recent academic works exploring tuberculosis epidemic in these contaminated areas seem to be absent. This study aims to address this gap. Combining medical data from the Kazakhstan Ministry of Health with socio-demographic information from the National Bureau of Statistics of Kazakhstan and satellite night-light data, we employ propensity score matching and regression analysis at raion (district) level over 2000-18 period. We find that prevalence and incidence of tuberculosis are elevated in the areas with radiation exposure and environmental catastrophes, especially in the regions most affected by Semipalatinsk Nuclear Polygon and the decline of the Aral Sea.
Aizat Kulzhabaeva
Researcher of the National Center of Phthisiology of MoH of the Kyrgyz Republic

Research project

"Epidemiology of the spectrum of DR TB and study reasons of increasing DR TB level in Kyrgyzstan before and during the COVID-19 pandemic"

The Kyrgyz Republic, with an estimated incidence of RR/MDR-TB of 49 per 100,000 population, is among the 30 countries with a high-burden of RR/MDR-TB. The level of MDR-TB in the Kyrgyz Republic from 1997 to 2019 increased among new cases from 8.8% to 29%, previously treated from 30.9% to 68%, resistance to fluoroquinolones among MDR-TB from 2.2 to 18.3%. The objectives of the research project are (1) to study the characteristics of the spectrum of drug resistance to TB drugs, including resistance to fluoroquinolones, sensitivity to new and repurposed drugs by regions in the Kyrgyzstan, 2019-2020; (2) to identify the risk factors for DR-TB in the Kyrgyz Republic in comparison before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This retrospective cohort study included all cases of pulmonary tuberculosis reported in 2019-2020. An analysis of DST coverage was carried out with a study of the prevalence of resistance of various strains of the causative agent of tuberculosis to anti-tuberculosis drugs.

Rostyslav Liubevych
Internship student from National Institute of Phthisiology and Pulmonology

Research project

"Optimal methods of psychological support for patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis and their effect on adherence to treatment"

Tuberculosis is a serious infectious disease that negatively affects not only the physical condition of patients, but also the psyche of patients. The patient feels the first shock when he learns about his diagnosis. The second - when he understands that he has to be treated for an unusually long time.

In this research the level of knowledge about tuberculosis, commitment to treatment in patients with DR-TB and the degree of disturbance in their psycho-emotional state at the beginning and at the end of treatment are esteblished; the influence of individual counseling and group classes (cycles of group psychological correction and individual classes, art therapy) for patients on the level of their psycho-emotional state, stigma, depression, etc. and social adaptation after treatment are studed.

Doniyor Karimov
Infectious diseases physician
Lecturer in the Tashkent State Dental Institute
Master's degree student in the Westminster International University in Tashkent

Research project

"Health-Related Quality of Life of HIV-positive patients with Tuberculosis in the Republican AIDS Centre of Uzbekistan"

The goal of the study was to assess Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) in HIV-positive patients with tuberculosis in Tashkent region, Uzbekistan. The SF-36 questionary was used to find out HRQoL in HIV-TB patients. Participants` answers were coded then transformed to 0 - 100 score scale, with higher scores showing better physical, cognitive functioning and generally better HRQoL.
The results of the scoring indicate that there were statistically significant differences (p=0,001) between the main (HIV-TB) and control groups (HIV) in the domains of vitality, social functioning, general health perception. On the three above mentioned domains patients in the main group had significantly less HRQoL compared to patients of the control group (H0 rejected). This study showed that HIV-TB patients had generally low quality of life, with the highest mean score on the domain bodily pain and the lowest in general health perception.

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