Appointment phone: +371 67000610

The East Hospital is celebrating two decades as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Tuberculosis Treatment and Research

This spring, the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Management of Multidrug-resistant at the Centre of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases of Riga East University Hospital (East Hospital) celebrates its 20th anniversary since the WHO first nominated it for its Collaborating Centre status. The WHO Collaborating Centre has trained more than 3,500 participants from around 65 countries for 20 years. The status of the WHO Collaborating Centre is reviewed every four years and based on the success and achievements in tuberculosis control to date, the WHO Collaborating Centre at the East Hospital has an operational nomination until 2025, when the new nomination process will begin.

The WHO Collaborating Centre was established in 2004 on the basis of the Clinical and Training Centre of the Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases Centre. The aim of the Collaborating Centre is to provide up-to-date, high-quality, evidence-based training for healthcare personnel, considering the latest scientific developments, WHO guidelines and regional policies on the practical aspects of treatment and management of drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Andra Cīrule, chief physician at the Centre of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, says: “Tuberculosis remains one of the deadliest infectious diseases. Every day, an average of 4,400 people worldwide lose their lives to tuberculosis, and around 30,000 people get infected with this preventable and treatable disease. Global events in the world – war and conflicts in the world– and socio-economic conditions continue to pose an epidemiological threat of tuberculosis.”

Over 20 years, the WHO Collaborating Centre at the East Hospital has trained more than 3,500 participants from around 65 countries, as well as implemented several international collaborative projects to limit the spread of tuberculosis and strengthen tuberculosis control efforts in different countries. The Centre works closely with partners from the TB community and networks in different countries of the WHO European Region on a daily basis to provide high-quality training based on medical evidence and the latest recommdenations in the field of TB.

Līga Kukša, head of the Department of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases at the Centre of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, Head of the WHO Collaborating Centre, says: “We are grateful to our enthusiastic and dedicated colleagues for their enormous contribution to the development of the Centre, and to our partners, friends and supporters for their cooperation and loyalty over the years. May the next 20 years bring us even more great collaborations, new discoveries and knowledge that will help us fight the spread of tuberculosis and significantly improve people-centred care for TB patients!”

The WHO Collaborating Centre is staffed by specialists from the East Hospital who are also internationally recognised experts in the field of tuberculosis:

  • Andra Cīrule, chief physician at the Centre of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, East Hospital;
  • Līga Kukša, Head of the Methodological Management, Surveillance and Analysis Unit of the WHO Collaborating Centre; head of the Department of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases No 7 of the Clinic of Lung Diseases, Centre of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases;
  • Professor Iveta Ozere, pulmonologist of the Department of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases No 6 of the Clinic of Lung Diseases, Centre of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases;
  • Ginta Balode, head of the Department of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases No 5 of the Clinic of Lung Diseases, Centre of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases;
  • Ģirts Šķenders, head and laboratory physician of the Sequencing Department, Laboratory Service of the East Hospital;
  • Inga Norvaiša, head and laboratory physician of the Centre of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases laboratory, Laboratory Service of the East Hospital ;
  • Valērija Učasova, physiotherapist of the Clinic of Rehabilitation of the East Hospital at the Centre of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases;
  • Vija Riekstiņa, pulmonologist of the Riga Outpatient Department at the Centre of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, Outpatient Services Management Division of the East Hospital;
  • Evita Biraua, nurse in charge of the Riga Outpatient Department at the Centre of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, Outpatient Services Management Division of the East Hospital;
  • doctors and care staff of the Centre of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases: Clinic of Thoracic Surgery and Invasive Pulmonology, Clinic of Lung Diseases and Riga Outpatient Department of the Centre of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, Outpatient Services Management Division.

WHO reviews the WHO Collaborating Centre nomination every four years, based on successful collaboration and performance in previous years. The last nomination for the East Hospital Centre was awarded in 2021 – until 2025, when a new nomination cycle will start.

A WHO Collaborating Centre is a research institution or unit of an institution designated by the WHO Director-General as part of an international network established by WHO to support the implementation of WHO programmes at national, transnational, regional and global levels. WHO Collaborating Centres contribute to strengthening countries’ internal capacities in information, services, research, and training to support national health sector development.

At present, more than 800 WHO Collaborating Centres have been established and are operating in more than 80 WHO member states, working with WHO in areas such as nursing, occupational health, infectious diseases, nutrition, mental health, chronic diseases, and health technologies.

The WHO Collaborating Centre nomination has been awarded to the Centre of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases with the aim of providing professional capacity-building activities for health workers in the area of tuberculosis to successfully implement the tuberculosis control measures of the WHO End TB Strategy and to promote effective implementation of the WHO guidelines in national tuberculosis control programmes. The WHO Collaborating Centre also participates in research on the development of new tuberculosis drugs and treatment regimens, as well as in research on laboratory diagnostic methods, and exchanges experience and knowledge with other countries.


About the East Hospital 

Riga East University Hospital is the largest and most strategically important multi-profile hospital in the country. The hospital consists of five clinical centres: Clinical Centre of Emergency Medicine Gailezers, Oncology Centre of Latvia, Clinical Centre Biķernieki, Centre of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases and Latvian Centre of Infectious Diseases with centres and clinics of different profiles. The hospital provides highly specialised inpatient and secondary outpatient healthcare, providing multidisciplinary tertiary-level treatment and care in line with modern technologies and medical knowledge. The hospital provides treatment for about 80% of all cancer patients in Latvia. The hospital provides a practical training base for both Latvian and foreign students and provides continued professional development and knowledge transfer for health professionals in our country and abroad. The hospital conducts scientific research and develops innovative methods for treating patients. The hospital is the third largest employer in the country, with around 5,000 employees.