The 10th year of the TB control programs in prisons of Azerbaijan was marked on Tuesday. With the aim to mark this significant date, governmental officials of Azerbaijan, diplomatic representatives and international organizations were invited on Tuesday to a study tour in the Special Treatment Institution for Detainees with TB (STIDT) and to ceremony in the Excelsior Baku Hotel held at the initiative of the Ministry of Justice and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Addressing to the event Justice Minister Fikret Mammadov said that every year about 8 million people worldwide become infected w\and sick with TB, while 2 million die of the disease. TB has been identified as a major public health problem in Azerbaijan.
The major reason for spread of the disease was the appearance of 1 million refugees and internally displaced people in the country as a result of the Armenian aggression, paralyzed economy in the beginning of 1990s, as well as social problems. However, upon Heydar AliyevвЂ™s return to the state power, the fighting with the infection diseases had been intensified, the Minister underlined.
Mammadov noted that in May 1995 the Justice Ministry and the ICRC set up a project in the Central Penitentiary Hospital in Baku for 300 patients. In July 1998 a newly rehabilitated STIDT was established by the Justice Ministry and became the Central TB treatment facility for the penitentiary system. This facility now has 1000 bed capacity.
In the end of his remarks the Minister thanked the Azerbaijan representation of the ICRC for services in treatment of prisoners with TB in Azerbaijan.