In Zugdidi, Georgia, nine patients suffering from resistant forms of tuberculosis (TB) have completed their treatment after two years of adhering to a daily drug regimen. Jocelyne Madrilène, MSF head of mission in Zugdidi, explains why these recoveries are satisfying for the patients and the entire medical staff.
In Tbilisi, MSF emergency teams are providing medical aid to those who have fled the fighting among Russians, Ossetians, and Georgians in South Ossetia. They are chiefly offering medical attention to people in shelters, some of them very elderly.
An MSF emergency team based in Tbilisi has been able to gain access to the separatist province of South Ossetia and visit Tskhinvali hospital there. MSF, which already provides support to displaced people in Tbilisi, has offered to provide medical assistance in South Ossetia.
Fighting has calmed in and around the breakaway region of South Ossetia, and the warring parties have reached a ceasefire agreement. The short, violent conflict has displaced people in Georgia, South Ossetia and the Northern Caucasus region of Russia.
In Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, and Gori, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) program manager Filipe Ribero has conducted several evaluations at sites where displaced persons are living. In the field, Ribero reports, there is a sharp contrast between a massive influx of international aid and the limited opportunities—for now—to provide assistance.
Following the outbreak of violence in the breakaway region of South Ossetia, and subsequent attacks by the Russian army on Georgian territory, MSF is preoccupied with the situation of thousands of people who have fled the conflict, and is alarmed at the possible interruption of treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis in programs in Georgia and the breakaway enclave of Abkhazia.
To help alleviate difficult treatment conditions and improve adherence, MSF staff at projects in Zougdidi, Georgia, and Soukhoumi, Abkhazia, are now offering patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) treatment at home. The projects treat 81 and 51 patients, respectively.