DUSHANBE -- The Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Tajikistan, with the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and in co-operation with the Committee on Religious Affairs, has included clergymen in the fight against tuberculosis, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)'s Tajik service reported Thursday (October 12).
To raise public awareness about the disease, the Committee on Religious Affairs and donors recommended that imam-khatibs of public mosques take training courses and talk about the disease during Friday sermons.
Since 2015, USAID has formed 143 public health committees with 800 members in 27 cities and regions of the country that are vulnerable to tuberculosis. USAID has allocated $13.3 million (117 million TJS) for the five-year project.
Committee members, who serve as a link to doctors, have urged local authorities and enterprises to provide financial assistance to needy patients.
Donors say that mosques could be a place to discuss pressing societal problems for Tajikistan's Muslim community. Especially in rural areas where access to radio and to print media is limited, clergymen can help encourage a healthy lifestyle.