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Multidrug-Resistant TB: No Promises
Ron Haviv in Tajikistan
Patients with tuberculosis must undergo lengthy, arduous treatment regimens in the best of times. When stricken with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, or MDR-TB, however, the road back to health is even more difficult.
This is because MDR-TB, which develops when prior cases of TB were treated incompletely or incorrectly, does not respond to the customary first-line tuberculosis drugs. With case numbers growing at an unprecedented clip, and with the highly contagious disease transmitting from person to person in some cases—MDR-TB is now a legitimate public health crisis.
In 2011, 630,000 cases of MDR-TB were diagnosed, according to the World Health Organization. With barely one in twenty TB patients being tested for drug resistance, this is just the tip of the iceberg. And yet the reaction of the global medical community has been slow, vague, and inefficient, particularly when it comes to developing better treatment options for MDR-TB patients.
The most neglected are children living with MDR-TB. VII Photo’s Ron Haviv visited MSF’s pediatric MDR-TB program in Tajikistan, one of Asia’s poorest countries, where the disease is indeed spreading at an alarming rate. Through the experience of an MSF nurse trying to care for children suffering with the disease, Haviv documents this new and very dangerous medical front line.
Read more about MDR-TB and MSF's work with, and advocacy for, TB and MDR-TB patients.
Award-winning photojournalist Ron Haviv has produced images of conflict and humanitarian crises that have made headlines from around the world since the end of the Cold War.
Numerous museums and galleries have featured his work, including The Louvre, United Nations, and the council on Foreign Relations. A co-founder of the photo agency VII, his work is published by magazines worldwide. He has published two critically acclaimed collections of his photography – Blood and Honey: A Balkan War Journal and Afghanistan: On the Road to Kabul.
Haviv has been the central character in three films including National Geographic Explorer's Freelance in a World of Risk that explores the hazards inherent in combat photography. In addition, Haviv has spoken about his work on NPR, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, The Charlie Rose Show, Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight and CNN.