Medecins Sans Frontieres has shut down its medical programs in Turkmenistan after 10 years of operating in the Central Asian state.
"Medical needs in Turkmenistan are still high and there is a good reason for us to work here," said MSF General Director Frank Dorner, as quoted by Ferghana.ru Information Agency. "However, our project proposals have been repeatedly rejected which does not leave us with a lot of choice but to close down."
Tuberculosis plagues Turkmenistan. According to the health ministry, more than 20 percent of new cases and 33 percent who failed to respond to treatment have multidrug resistant TB.
"What is most disappointing is that Deputy Prime Minister Saparliev has invited us to further support the Turkmen Government in implementing quality care for MDR-TB patients, but discussions have once again been stalled at the Ministry of Health level," said Christoph Hippchen, the nonprofit's country manager for Turkmenistan.