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Posts tagged "MDR-TB"
Giving MDR-TB Patients a New Lease on Life

Giving MDR-TB Patients a New Lease on Life

Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) can be successfully treated today; however, the treatment course can take as long as two years and side effects can be severe if not appropriately addressed. The rate of MDR-TB treatment success is largely dependent on a patient’s socioeconomic circumstances as patients from marginalized groups are particularly vulnerable to dropping out of treatment. That is why ensuring patients’ adherence to TB treatment through a patient-centered approach that engages communities and civil society organizations, is critical to the success of MDR-TB treatment outcomes. Consistent with the principles of the WHO End TB Strategy, Project Hope’s interventions in Tajikistan (within the framework of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria TB grant) have provided a robust foundation for building a strong coalition in which communities and civil society organizations play a crucial role in combatting TB. Trained members of civil society and non-governmental organizations (NGO) have a unique capacity through patient education and psychosocial support to reach out to their communities to ensure that TB and MDR-TB patients make full recovery. One such patient for whom Project HOPE’s community-based initiatives were life-changing is Alisher Latipov. A family man from the Spitamen district in Tajikistan’s Sughd region, Alisher 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…

International course on clinical management of M(X)DR-TB for WHO Europe Region countries

International course on clinical management of M(X)DR-TB for WHO Europe Region countries

The WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Management of MDR-TB in Latvia announced an opportunity for clinicians and responsible for clinical managemnet of DR-TB to join their course. The main objective of the course is to update knowladge of the participants on the latest global development in M(X)DR-TB, as well as develop skills for M(X)DR-TB case management in their respective countries. The course will be available in Russian and English (according to schedule) and will last for 9 working days. For more details about the course please click here: International Advanced Course in clinical management of DR TB. Your completed application (click here: Application form WHO CC ) please send to the Tuberculosis Foundation of Latvia. E: info@ltbf.lv 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 More…

The TB Europe Coalition delegation visited Latvia

The TB Europe Coalition delegation visited Latvia

On 15th – 18th September 2015, three members of the TB Europe Coalition visited Latvia in order to conduct a TB Advocacy workshop, reach to civil society actors in the one of the TB high-priority countries in the EU, and strengthen their voice in a fight against tuberculosis (TB) in the country. The workshop was organised in collaboration with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Latvia (CDPC) and co-financed by the European Commission. Latvia with an estimated population of 2.35 million has consistently ranked among the countries with the highest rates of MDR-TB in the world. TB incidence in Latvia has decreased from 74/100,000 in 1998 to 31.8/100,000 cases in 2014. In absolute numbers this means 637 new TB cases in 2014 (Chart 1). Incidence of MDR TB cases has also decreased over the years from 332 cases in 1997 to 63 in 2014 (Chart 2). However, Latvia is among the 27 high MDR-TB burden countries in the world and the number of people belonging to social groups at risk of TB is increasing. Among new TB cases, 10% developed MDR-TB and among retreated cases this rises to 26%. Co-infection rates are also high with around 15% of 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…

Tuberculosis Advocates Participate in TBEC Advocacy Workshop

Tuberculosis Advocates Participate in TBEC Advocacy Workshop

On the 25 – 26 May 2015, the TB Europe Coalition organised a two-day Regional Advocacy training on TB control for civil society organisation (CSO) representatives and former TB patients. The training was held prior to the Wolfheze conference in the Hague, Netherlands.  Participants were CSO representatives as well as former TB patients involved in TB advocacy at the regional and national level in the WHO European Region. They were from six countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) and another former TB patient from the Netherlands. The training aimed to provide participants with improved knowledge on core TB advocacy skills and public speaking as well as sharing best practices and building contacts and relationships with other TB advocates from the region.  These skills were then immediately put into practice at the Wolfheze Conference. Four participants delivered presentations later that week during the Wolfheze conference. Three of them were former TB-patients.   Wolfheze conference 27-29 May 2015 The Wolfheze conference began in 1990 in the Netherlands in the village of Wolfheze near Arnhem. Since 1990 it has been organised every two years by KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation in collaboration with WHO Europe and ECDC.  The conference focuses on management and More…

TB Europe Coalition meets and trains TB civil society and communities in Tajikistan

TB Europe Coalition meets and trains TB civil society and communities in Tajikistan

From 15 to 19 April 2015, members of the TBEC Steering Committee visited Tajikistan in order to meet with key stakeholders working on Tuberculosis (TB) and build the advocacy capacity of civil society and communities. This was the first TBEC visit in Central Asia and was facilitated by the recently created STOP TB Partnership Tajikistan and the organization hosting its secretariat, Young Generation for Tajikistan. Tajikistan is one of the 15 high-burden countries for Multi-Drug Resistant TB in the WHO European region. Since 2000, TB incidence has decreased from 250 to 100 cases per 100 thousands inhabitants. While general TB rates are improving, widespread poverty combined with mountainous terrain continue to limit access to health and TB services. In 2014, a total of 5313 new TB cases were reported. The country is currently drawing up its third national TB programme. The programme, however, remains heavily dependent on external financing, with close to 70% of NTP resources being provided by international donors, mainly the Global Fund and USAID. Other challenges for TB care relate to high rates of MDR- and XDR-TB, increasing incidence of TB among Tajik labour migrants, and difficult access to TB treatment in prisons. After three days of More…

Over 45 Civil Society Organisations Urge the Commissioner for Health to Plan Coordinated Response to Tackle Tuberculosis in Europe

Over 45 Civil Society Organisations Urge the Commissioner for Health to Plan Coordinated Response to Tackle Tuberculosis in Europe

More than 45 civil society organisations co-submitted a letter to the new Commissioner for Health and Food Safety to use his role to champion the need for an improved response to the multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) epidemic in the Europe region. The initiaitve for this letter was spear headed by the TB Europe Coalition. The letter brought to attention key conditions in the region that demonstrate the region’s failing in its duty to diagnose and treat TB. These key conditions include:   Fifteen of the twenty-seven high MDR-TB burden countries in the world are situated in the region. The WHO Europe Region has the unwelcome accolade of having the highest percentage of new TB cases with MDR-TB. Out of the fifteen high MDR-TB burden countries in the region, four are within the border of the European Union, including Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Bulgaria. Most importantly, TB is an airborne disease. In an increasingly globalised world and in an EU without internal boundaries, epidemics can easily spread from one country to another.   Ultimately, the letter urges the Commissioner to share his plans to ensure that from the First Ministerial Meeting on TB in Riga comes a coordinated response between the More…

USAID launches new tuberculosis control program in Tajikistan

USAID launches new tuberculosis control program in Tajikistan

DUSHANBE (TCA) — The United States Ambassador to Tajikistan Susan Elliott and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Wednesday launched the USAID Tuberculosis (TB) Control Program, a new regional program to improve diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis in Tajikistan, the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe said. The new program is an extension of TB control activities initiated under past USAID projects such as TB CARE I, Quality Health Care Project and the Dialogue on HIV and TB Project. While joint collaboration between USAID, the Tajik government and other partners to combat TB has resulted in stabilization of TB over the past five years, the latest Global TB Report confirms an alarming increase in rates of multi-drug resistant TB in all five Central Asian countries. This five-year USAID TB Control Program aims to reduce the burden of TB and the development of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) in Tajikistan. The program will focus on improving access to diagnosis and treatment for vulnerable groups, supporting a patient-centered system of care, and strengthening laboratories and other parts of the health system in Sughd and Khatlon provinces and the Rasht Valley, including policy development at the national level. Ambassador Elliott pointed out the More…

Former MDR-TB patient and TB advocate, Marina, meets with the European Parliament

Former MDR-TB patient and TB advocate, Marina, meets with the European Parliament

Between 18th and 19th November, TB Europe Coalition members, RESULTS UK and Global Health Advocates, had the exciting opportunity to welcome Marina to Brussels to brief decision-makers on the severity of the TB epidemic (TB) in the European Union (EU). Marina fought two years to defeat multidrug resistant TB (MDR-TB) and is now a great advocate on the issue.  By bringing the perspective of MDR-TB patients, Marina highlighted the urgent need for action at regional level to fight TB and ensure the rights of TB patients. Marina’s story illustrates perfectly why the EU institutions and member states must work together as opposed to national governments acting alone. Marina, a Romanian citizen who now lives in the UK after studying for a degree in law at the University of Manchester, was studying abroad in France, when she first developed a cough that would not go away. This cough led her down a long road of doctors and tests as various French doctors struggled to identify a disease many believe no longer exists in Europe.  While Marina began to suspect she had TB, an illness that is quite common in Romania, doctors in France were failing to diagnose her. She therefore travelled More…

The TB Europe Coalition meets TB actors in Georgia

The TB Europe Coalition meets TB actors in Georgia

 Between 3 and 7 November 2014, a delegation of the Tuberculosis Europe Coalition* (TBEC) visited Tbilisi, Georgia. TBEC representatives held discussions with key stakeholders and organised a two-day workshop to support ongoing efforts of civil society organisations working in the field of TB, which recently formed a national TB Coalition. TBEC’s visit and the creation of a national TB coalition was extremely timely considering the number of ongoing activities and opportunities for TB care and control in the country. Among these, the drafting and presentation of a National TB Strategy and the Global Fund’s concept note for TB and HIV, which are due in 2015, will have a prominent role. While working on these key documents, TB actors in Georgia will have to thoroughly reflect on the long-term sustainability of their TB programme and prepare for the major changes expected in the coming years. In fact, as in many other countries in Eastern European and Central Asian, Georgia is facing a reduction of international donors’ support to health, which risks to greatly affect the TB programme unless proper transition to domestic financing is put in place. Major concerns come from the phasing out of Global Fund, the main donor in the More…

Changing the face of TB through the involvement of communities

Changing the face of TB through the involvement of communities

“Empower civil society and community representatives to generate change from the bottom up”, this is one of the key messages we took away from a session organised by the TB Europe Coalition and WHO Europe on “Community-driven solutions to the MDR-TB epidemic in the European region” at the Union Conference in Barcelona. Indeed, as civil society speaks the language of the people affected by the disease, and is well placed to take over numerous functions at the local level such as case detection, patient support, prevention activities, especially targeting affected communities, its capacities should be strengthened. There is no doubt that by providing basic services, making patients’ voices heard and spreading awareness about TB, civil society can be of great added value to national efforts. Speakers from civil society from Tajikistan and Moldova as well as the National TB Programmes of Bulgaria and Russia presented best practices in the involvement of communities and civil society in TB care. It was widely agreed that a clear shift from perceptions of TB as a medical condition to a human and social problem was urgently needed, especially in the way that conferences and trainings are organised for medical and programme staff. An equal More…

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