Historical aspects to
fight Tuberculosis in Georgia
Tuberculosis is as old as mankind
of the History of Medicine
first traces of tuberculosis in Georgia were found in the fossils of VI-VII cc.
B.C., which revealed tuberculosis spondylitis. From the medical sources
tuberculosis was first mentioned in Kananeli “Ustsoro Karabadini” in X century,
afterwards in the old Georgian medical manuscripts. Here the terminology of
lung tuberculosis, main signs, methods of diagnostics and treatment were described.
In the old medical manuscripts tuberculosis is nominated with two basic terms
“Sili” and “Firtuisa Sikluke”. The term consumption was introduced later.
materials of the Imperial Medical Society of the Caucasus and the Society of
the Caucasus to Fight Tuberculosis contain rich data about tuberculosis. The
Imperial Medical Society of the Caucasus was created on 5 April, 1864. In 1904 the
society worked in several directions, namely it organized sanatoriums, TB
ambulatories, society departments and the “White Flower Day” annually for
fundraising. The “White Flower Day” was celebrated until 1917. Afterwards it was
changed with “three-day celebration of tuberculosis", which was held until
In 1918-1921, the period of independent
Georgia, the attention
of the Government was turned to epidemics, including consumption. During this
period Ioseb Abakelia, the founder of Phthisiatry, came with an initiative to establish
a Sanitary Institute being an active fighter against epidemic diseases.
1921 the organized fight against tuberculosis started with the leadership of the
government. The work against tuberculosis involved creation of the networks,
staff mobilization, elaboration of the standards of detection, diagnosis and
treatment of the patients, prevention courses, creation of the system of
statistics on tuberculosis. In 1930 the Scientific-Research Institute of
tuberculosis was established.
the 1960-70s in relation to the significant improvement of epidemiological
situation of tuberculosis, the role of the institute, as of a scientific
phthisio-pulmonological center, increased. Respectively, since 1990 the
scientific-research institute of Tuberculosis was changed with the institute of
Phthisiatry and pulmonology. During the existence of the institute a number of
scientific studies were done, a big part of which was put in practice. A wide specter
of activities is revealed in the scientific proceedings of the institute, in
the materials of the congress and symposia of Georgia and the South Caucasus. During
this period, 35 monographs, manuals, and reference books were published. The
best determiner of the results of fighting against tuberculosis was
epidemiological situation of tuberculosis. In 1970-90s, as a result of
conducting anti-tuberculosis activities, morbidity with tuberculosis in the
republic has decreased from 56 to 28.3, incidence from 334 to 140.7, and mortality
from 10.9 to 4.91 (per 100 000 population).
ongoing socio political events and dissolution of the healthcare system in
Georgia in 1991-94, resulted in the drastic deterioration of the
epidemiological situation. Fight against tuberculosis did not practically exist.
Unsystematic diagnostics and treatment of the people infected with tuberculosis
continued through inertia. Due to all this fight against tuberculosis was considered
as a priority and at the beginning of 1995 with the support of the World Health
Organization, three pilot projects, compliant to the modern strategy, were
implemented in three cities of Georgia (Tbilisi, Gori, Rustavi). During this
period a state programme to fight tuberculosis was elaborated at the Ministry
of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia. Its implementation started
countrywide since August 1995. This programme is totally based on the new DOTs
strategy to fight tuberculosis.