Feeds MSF

Against stigma and drug-resistance: five years of treating tuberculosis in Ukraine

“I have faced stigma and discrimination from my colleagues,” says MSF patient and father-of-two Oleksii. “Although I am no longer contagious, it is important that I finish my treatment. Then I can live a normal life with my two boys.”

To help address the stigma experienced by patients, MSF provides training sessions for both medical staff and social workers to provide information about the myths and realities of TB, and to raise awareness of treatment protocols, diagnostic methods and infection control.

The project’s legacy

When MSF teams handed over their work to the Ministry of Health, they left a valuable legacy in Zhytomyr region. This includes a biosafety level-three laboratory, constructed by MSF, for the research of potentially airborne diseases such as TB. The laboratory allows sophisticated diagnostic tests to be carried out, and it contains a GeneXpert machine capable of testing for drug-resistance in less than two hours.

The Zhytomyr project brought together Ukrainian specialists on DR-TB, as well as international experts, including microbiologists and epidemiologists from Germany, India, the Philippines and Kyrgyzstan. Overall, more than 100 experts, including doctors, nurses, epidemiologists and logisticians, worked in the project. They treated 300 patients, of whom more than three-quarters successfully completed their treatment and recovered from DR-TB.

Fonte original msf.org

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