Third of AIDS patients are TB-infected in Irkutsk Region

The number of people taken ill with tuberculosis has increased 2.5 times over the last decade in the Irkutsk Region in Siberia. The situation reportedly started to stabilize last year – in 2000, the sickness rate increase made up as little are 7.6% against 46% in the previous year. By now, 36,000 TB patients are registered in the region. At that, 1/3 of AIDS patients are infected with TB. The lowering of the TB sickness rate came as a result of regional and federal programmes taking effect, according to Yevgeniya Kozyakova, chief of the regional TB clinic. In her words, there had been no funding coming in before 1999. As for now, the clinic’s renovation in the major item on the agenda – it is going to take up to Rbs35m (nearly $1.3m). If the renovation is completed on time, the clinic will be able to obtain a loan from the World Bank of Reconstruction and Development under anti-TB programmes.

IRINA BURAKOVA