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Posts tagged "Eastern Europe"
The new GTBC regional manager for Eastern Europe and Central Asia

The new GTBC regional manager for Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Many of you will already know the Global TB Caucus and the fantastic Tsira Chakhaia, who has been the Regional Manager for Eastern Europe and Central Asia for the last few years. The Global TB Causus is an international network of over 2400 Parliamentarians from over 130 countries, who are working together to end TB. We often work together with the Caucus. For example, earlier this year, we organsied a webinar in Russian together on parliamentary engagement, during with Tsira gave a presentation. Tsira has sadly left the Caucus, but we are very pleased to welcome the new Manager for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Alesia Matusevych: Let me introduce myself a little. My name is Alesia. I’m from Ukraine and had been working as an assistant to the Ukrainian Member of Parliament Mr. Serhiy Kiral for about 4 years. Mr. Kiral is also a Head of Parliamentary Platform for fighting against TB in Ukraine, as well as Eastern European and Central Asia Co-chair of the Global TB Caucus. I decided that, while I was keen to continue fighting TB, I wanted to do so in a position which would allow me to make a greater impact on such an issue. More…

‘The Disease Does not Discourage Me, It Makes Me Stronger’, Says a 28 Years Old Romanian Woman Living with TB

‘The Disease Does not Discourage Me, It Makes Me Stronger’, Says a 28 Years Old Romanian Woman Living with TB

An article recently published in the newsletter of the Romanian Pulmonology Institute “Marius Nasta”, edited in partnership with the Romanian Angel Appeal Fund, tells the story of a young woman diagnosed with MDR-TB. The patient, taken to the Municipal Hospital because of food poisoning, had a chest X-ray among other tests, and discovered that she had multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Contrary to her worst expectations, she found out that it would take more than three months in hospital and between six to eight months at home to treat the disease. She used to live in a village in Teleorman County, but had to work long hours at a real estate agency in Bucharest, occasionally even skipping meals. That is how her immune system weakened, as she assumes, and she caught TB. However, she decided not to be let down by her disease, but rather to gather all her strength for the sake of her father and sister, who together with our heroine went through the experience of losing their mother just five years before. “The disease does not discourage me, it makes me stronger”, she says, as she talks about the determination to change her life style, as well as the necessity More…

HIV/TB Patients in Eastern Europe at higher risk of death than in Western Europe

HIV/TB Patients in Eastern Europe at higher risk of death than in Western Europe

The Lancet HIV Journal published a recent research study conducted by Daria Podlekareva and her colleagues that shows an alarming situation for people living with HIV and diagnosed with tuberculosis in Eastern Europe. They have a risk of death nearly four-times higher than patients from Western Europe and Latin America.   As mentioned in the study the reasons for the high mortality rate in Eastern Europe are complex and multifactorial. However, an urgent action is needed to improve tuberculosis care for patients living with HIV in this region. For full text and more details, please click here: Tuberculosis-related mortality in people living with HIV in Europe and Latin America: an international cohort study This blog is the product of an activity that has received funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014-2020). The content of this blog represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information More…

IAS 2015: Review of clinics in Eastern Europe, southern Europe and Latin America of patients with HIV diagnosed with MDR-TB between 2011 and 2013

IAS 2015: Review of clinics in Eastern Europe, southern Europe and Latin America of patients with HIV diagnosed with MDR-TB between 2011 and 2013

The 8th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2015) is held in Vancouver, Canada from 19th July to 22nd July 2015. IAS is organized in partnership with the University of British Columbia (UBC) Division of AIDS, based at St. Paul’s Hospital, Providence Health Care. The event is a great opportunity for all those involved in the global response to HIV to meet and examine the latest scientific developments in HIV-related research. The registered organisations and participants present their research findings and share the latest scientific results with their counterparts to discuss how those developments can be applied in HIV-related programmes. One of the main six objectives of the IAS 2015 is to develop strategic discussions around the increasing challenges of TB, viral hepatitis and chronic co-morbidities. According to the presentation by Anna Schultze ‘Major challenges in clinical management of TB/HIV co-infected patients in Eastern Europe compared with Western Europe and Latin America’, patients in Eastern Europe where more likely to die from MDR-TB than those in Latin America and southern Europe. Patients who died in the Eastern European clinics had either not received drug susceptibility testing or had been placed on drugs that were not active against More…

MDR-TB casts a shadow over Russia

MDR-TB casts a shadow over Russia

Tuberculosis and, in particular, drug-resistant forms of the disease have long been a burden on many countries in Eastern Europe and the Russian Federation is no exception. A video recently produced by Channel 4 News in the UK highlights the growing problem that the country has with multidrug-resistant TB in the general population but also in children and in prisons. The report also raises the worrying question of what will happen to rates of MDR-TB in the country give that many international donors have now left the country, ultimately as a result of political reasons as opposed to the fact that the country has the capacity or political urge to finance TB care and control itself. We have included the report, The Rising Spectre of tuberculosis across Russia, below but you can also read Victoria Macdonald’s (Health and Social Care correspondent at Channel 4 News) blog on her trip to Russia here.

Europe: 1,000 TB cases a day, 380,000 a year

New surveillance data released by the World Health Organisation and ECDC has shown that, in Europe, there are 1,000 new cases of TB everyday. This is despite the fact that many view TB, or ‘consumption’, as a disease of the past. The burden is greatest in the eastern part of the WHO European Region which is home to 87% of TB cases. In 2011, these countries recorded most the estimated 44,000 TB deaths. However, it is critical to recognise that this isn’t a problem only associated in the eastern part of the region. In the UK TB rates are on the rise. London has the highest TB rates of any city in western Europe and, perhaps most worryingly, 8.4% of new TB cases are drug resistant. Drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) is a growing public health emergency in Europe and, indeed, worldwide. According to estimates some 78,000 people are  taken sick with multi drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) each year. Treating these strains of TB is considerably more expensive at about hundred times the cost compared to treating standard TB. Treatment is also far more toxic for patients – despite the fact that drugs for standard TB treatment can already More…

Tuberculosis and the Media

Tuberculosis and the Media

In the past few weeks there has been a, relatively, considerable amount of column inches have been given over to tuberculosis (TB), particularly the worrying rise of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) strains. MDR-TB is a form of TB that is resistant to isoniazid and rifampicin (the two most powerful anti-TB drugs). In a recent post we highlighted articles both in the New York Times and Al-Jazeera alerting us to the concern that many developing countries with high TB prevalence are awash with fake and substandard drugs. In it’s leading story and, rightly so, featured on it’s front cover the most recent Europe edition of TIME magazine has declared “Contagion: Why drug-resistant TB threatens us all”. The article highlights that, currently, only 10 percent of new MDR cases are receiving proper treatment. Given that it also mentions there will be over 2 million new cases of MDR-TB from 2011-2015 this is something that should worry us all and spur us to take action. Importantly, a lack of proper treatment not only raises the risk of death for a TB patient, but it can also lead to the emergence of extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB). This is even more difficult to treat, being More…

Tuberculosis targets in the post-MDG era

Tuberculosis targets in the post-MDG era

With the  deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) approaching there has been increasing discussion on what the next ten-year objective for TB should be. In the current framework, while global TB figures are on course to meet MDG 6 of halving prevalence of TB by 2015, in Eastern Europe and Africa TB incidences are not decreasing and targets will not be met. It is so important that in the post-2015 development agenda there is greater clarity as to what can be done about tackling TB.  Last week the World Health Organisation held a meeting in order to establish a consensus on post-MDG goals and what can be done about TB. Although those gathered at the meeting all  seek to eliminate the disease, they differ about what specific objectives should be aimed for in the next ten years. Mario Raviglione, director of the WHO’s Stop TB Department in Geneva, suggests that one target could be to cut the projected 2015 annual deaths by half in 2025. This would require the incidence of the disease to drop from 16% to 10% in the next ten years, something that experts say will require better drugs and the scaling up of antiretroviral treatments to protect particularly vulnerable More…

TB bacterium “is not resting”

TB bacterium “is not resting”

The weekly science journal Nature recently published an article called TB’s revenge: The world is starting to win the war against tuberculosis, but drug-resistant forms pose a new threat, which gives an excellent overview of where we are in the global fight against TB and, in particular, against drug-resistant TB: In the early 1980s, TB cases had dropped to such low rates that Western policy-makers frequently talked of eradication of the disease. Then came the HIV epidemic, which triggered a resurgence of TB in the late 1990s. But the latest report on TB from the World Health Organization (WHO), published in October, revealed signs of progress against normal — or drug-sensitive — cases of the bacterial disease. New infections have fallen and the mortality rate has dropped by 41% since 1990. But, the report warned, “drug-resistant TB threatens global TB control”. Some 3.7% of new cases and 20% of previously treated cases are MDR-TB. And whereas in 2000 the highest incidence of MDR-TB was 14%, in Estonia; in 2010 that figure had jumped to 35%, in Russia’s Arkhangelsk province. An estimated 9% of drug-resistant cases are XDR-TB, which has now been reported in 84 countries. It is a tale of More…

European Parliament discusses rise of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Europe

European Parliament discusses rise of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Europe

The following post is brought to you by Steve Lewis, the Global Health Advocacy Manager at RESULTS UK, who last week attended a hearing in European Parliament on ‘Funding crisis at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and its impact on EU countries most affected by multi-drug resistant TB, in particular Romania’: Last week I was at a discussion in Parliament in Brussels during which European MEPs discussed the disturbing rise in TB in Eastern Europe. One of the worst hit countries is Romania where Romanian MEP Claudiu Tănăsescu told me, “When I used to work as a GP in Romania we believed that TB had been virtually eliminated. But this is not the case.” Information from various countries has been published recently in our report ‘Bridging the Gap – why the EU must address the funding crisis at the Global Fund to tackle HIV and TB epidemics in Eastern Europe and Central Asia’. The report includes case studies that demonstrate that without the resources to aggressively tackle these two diseases, the region risks undermining the progress made to date. Since the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria was forced to cancel its last funding More…

'Here I Am' campaign illustrates successful impact of the Global Fund in fighting HIV, TB and Malaria

‘Here I Am’ campaign illustrates successful impact of the Global Fund in fighting HIV, TB and Malaria

The ‘Here I Am’ campaign, a global call on world leaders to save millions of lives by supporting a fully funded Global Fund, has been releasing a number of engaging video testimonials to highlight the positive impact that the Global Fund has had in fighting AIDS, TB and Malaria. The videos account first hand the struggles people have gone through when faced with either of these three diseases but also, importantly, the fact that many of them now have the help and hope they need to overcome them and enable them to live healthy and happy lives.  By featuring the stories from all over the world of those directly affected and the turnaround in their fortunes thanks to the Global Fund support, and combining these with campaign ambassadors, online actions, and on-the-ground mobilisations, the campaign is aiming to, build the collective power to end three of the world’s most deadly diseases. One of these powerful testimonies comes from Yevhen Selin from Ukraine. Yevhen tells of his experiences as a teenager with injecting drugs and addiction and how this led to both periods in jail as a young man. Having served half a sentence, Yevhen left prison determined to give up More…

WHO report on tuberculosis highlights need for EU action

WHO report on tuberculosis highlights need for EU action

Last week the World Health Organisation (WHO) released their seventeenth global report on tuberculosis, providing a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the TB epidemic and progress in implementing and financing TB prevention, care and control.  Positive steps have been made in tackling TB globally. Findings from the report indicate that progress has and is being made in a number of areas. It notes: access to TB care has expanded substantially since the mid-1990s; progress towards global targets for reductions in TB cases and deaths continues; there has been further progress in implementing collaborative TB/HIV activities; innovations in diagnostics are being implemented, and that the development of new drugs and new vaccines is also progressing. This progress is, of course, welcome news. However, TB remains a major global health problem, ranking only second to HIV/AIDS as the leading cause of death from an infectious disease. Latest estimates show that there were almost 9 million new TB cases in 2011 and 1.4 million TB deaths. As the report notes, this is despite the availability of treatment that will cure most cases of TB. Worryingly, progress in responding to multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains slow. On a purely European outlook, this worry is exacerbated More…

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