On September 29, 2016, a Memorandum of Collaboration between Civil Society Organizations Working in TB care and control and the National Program for Control of Tuberculosis was signed.
The event took place in Chisinau hosted by Institute of Phthisiopulmonology “Chiril Draganiuc”. Representatives of The National Program for Control of TB, Center for Health Policies and Studies (PAS Center), the Soros-Moldova Foundation, the “SMIT” National Association of Tuberculosis Patients of Moldova (Balti municipality), “AFI” Public Association (Chisinau municipality), “Youth for the Right to Life” Public Association (Balti municipality), “Aktiv” non-profit partnership (Bender city), “AFI Anenii Noi” Center for Health Development (Anenii Noi city), “House of Hope” Center for Social Assistance (Soroca city), Association of Psychologists of Tighina (Causeni city) attended the event.
The goal of the Memorandum is to streamline the involvement of civil society organizations as trusted partners in implementation of National TB Program.
According to Ana Ciobanu, the coordinator of the National Program for Tuberculosis Prevention and Control, the Memorandum is a framework for collaboration between the National Program and civil society organizations with a set of collaboration principles: participation, transparency, equality, independence and confidentiality.
Viorel Soltan, the director of the PAS Center, stated that he sees this Memorandum as a step towards improving advocacy, towards closer cooperation between NGOs and the National Program, a possibility for Moldova to change the healthcare system by targeting its services directly on the patient. Thus, he views this Memorandum as a mechanism that targets services on the person through joint collaboration.
Oxana Rucsineanu, the programmes director of SMIT Association mentioned that: “By reducing the time spent in hospital and the number of beds, we basically change the status of tuberculosis as a disease and reduce the stigma of [TB] patients, since tuberculosis is not such as we used to perceive it. Thus, society will understand that tuberculosis patients can be efficiently treated in outpatient settings, as well”.
By signing the Memorandum, parties to it note the importance of strengthening the involvement of communities and civil society organizations in TB control and the need to strengthen mutual relations of cooperation.