Educational events are an important component of the TB-REP 2.0 project. They help health care systems strengthen the integration of TB and DR-TB medical support oriented on the needs of the people. One kind is a study tour, which allows specialists to learn about the experiences of their colleagues from other counties, see how some changes happen in reality, and be introduced to new mechanisms to prepare medical personnel to provide care to people in need.
In November a study tour was organized in Latvia for a group of specialists from Turkmenistan. Representatives from the Ministry of Health, Medical Statistics Center, State Medical University, country WHO Office and practicing physicians were introduced to the developments and changes to the registration system in the Latvian health care system. The registration has played a great role in the process of certifying various types of doctors, including pulmonologist specialists. In relation to this, the agenda included a visit to the Riga Stradins University medical education technology center and the Center for Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases. Both these organizations play a significant role in preparing doctors and in conducting medical scientific research not only in Latvia, but in Europe at large.
The first day of the study tour was devoted to the history and regulatory systems of registration and certification of doctors in Latvia. Turkmenistan delegation were also given a presentation on a people-centered TB model of care guiding principles and its implications on HR planning and task shifting. The presentations of Latvian specialists were of great interest to the guests, who received all the necessary explanations in the discussions following. They were provided with an opportunity to become familiar with how the medical education technology center organizes its work.
The second day of the study tour was spent at the Center for Tuberculosis and lung disease hospital of the Riga Eastern University. Professor Alvils Krams, who chairs the Board of the Latvian Pulmonology Doctors Society, told the guests in great details about the processes of certifying pulmonologists in Latvia and the challenges they face. Director Ģirts Šķenders, chair of the Center for the Research and Study of MRD-TB Treatment spoke about the role and opportunities of the Center in the fight against tuberculosis, including in the preparation and re-qualification of pulmonologist specialists from various countries.
To conclude the visit, the Turkmen Delegation had a tour of the Center for Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and met the staff.
The short but very rich trip was useful for specialists from Turkmenistan. The TB-REP 2.0 project gives a powerful stimulus for health care reform and for preparing the new ranks of medical professionals.