Why are we there?
- Health care exclusion
- Endemic/epidemic disease
This is an excerpt from MSF's 2012 International Activity Report:
A new program for children with tuberculosis (TB) has been launched in Tajikistan.
General poverty and gaps in the health care system mean there is no access to treatment for TB for certain groups in Tajikistan, despite high rates of the disease in the country.
Until recently, children with drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) – those for whom first-line treatment fails – did not receive the more intensive, potentially lifesaving treatment needed for this form of the disease.
An MSF team has begun working on a pediatric TB program in the capital Dushanbe and the city of Kulob.
The goal is to improve both access to and the quality of treatment for children with drug-sensitive TB and DR-TB, and demonstrate that comprehensive care is feasible. TB is highly contagious, so family members of pediatric patients are also tested and treated.
Nutritional and psychological support
Whenever possible, MSF treats children and their family members as outpatients. The team provides children with nutritional and psychological support and organizes educational and developmental activities for those who have to be admitted to hospital.
When patients are no longer infectious, staff encourage schools to allow them to return to the classroom. Stigmatization is an issue, and MSF is working to increase TB awareness and public support for the needs of children with TB, while advocating for wider access to quality treatment.
At the end of 2012, MSF had 38 staff in Tajikistan. MSF has been working in the country since 1997.