Why are we there?
- Endemic/epidemic disease
This is an excerpt from MSF's 2012 International Activity Report:
Despite high rates of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) in Uzbekistan, most people who have the disease are undiagnosed and go without medical care.
In Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan, MSF helps address gaps in TB diagnosis and treatment, focusing on the provision of quality medical care for patients with DR-TB who do not respond to the standard first-line regimen of drugs that can cure drug-sensitive TB.
MSF is also introducing new approaches, such as using rapid diagnostic tests and treating people as outpatients so they do not always have to be hospitalized.
TB medication can have powerful side effects such as headaches and nausea, which can cause patients to interrupt or discontinue their regimens.
MSF helps patients medically manage side effects and provides counseling to see them through treatment. The program also supports patients with education, transportation, food packages and financial aid.
In 2012, MSF expanded its program of comprehensive TB care to the districts of Kegeily and Nukus Town, while TB care in the districts of Takhtakupir and Karauzyak was handed over to the Ministry of Health in June.
At the end of 2012, MSF had 160 staff in Uzbekistan. MSF first worked in the country in 1997.
Rakhatay, MDR-TB patient
“I had been treated for TB in our local hospital for over a year. There was no effect. Then I was lying at home. I guess God had pity on me, for you [MSF doctor] came to my house and told me that treatment is available. At that time I couldn’t even talk to you, I could only listen.
“It’s my daughter Kunduz, it’s thanks to her I started my treatment anew. She convinced me; she told me that I should go for this treatment.
"Now I am taking drugs. Before, I could not eat: I could only drink black tea from a spoon. I couldn’t even raise my head. Thanks to God, now I can sit and even move around.
“I never miss even one day of drugs. There are nurses – Amangul, Umyt, Muhabbat – they bring me medicines. They are all such nice people; they coax me like a child, and make up different tricks so I don’t even notice how I have swallowed the medicine.
"I am so thankful to them; I have reached such a good state of health now.”