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Chechnya: MSF Hands Over TB Dispensaries
October 20, 2009
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is starting the process of gradually handing over its tuberculosis (TB) program in Chechnya. Gudermes district TB dispensary is the first of five TB facilities covered by the program to be handed over to the Ministry of Health.
MSF’s TB activities in Chechnya have been in place for more than five years and have supported over 3,000 patients. The program covers the entire republic, providing support to five district TB dispensaries in Chechnya: Gudermes, Nadterechny, Shali, Shelkovskoy, and Grozny.
Since 2004, 603 patients have been admitted to the program in Gudermes district. By the end of 2008, 480 patients had completed their treatment. MSF teams provided counseling and health education to patients and their relatives. To raise awareness about the disease, staff organized annual activities, including events for World TB Day in March.
Four facilities to support outpatients’ adherence to treatment, and where patients receive their medicines, were also opened in the district. These Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) corners are controlled by MSF specialists and referred to as “DOTS-monitors”. Their work combined with the efforts of educators and Ministry of Health staff have ensured a successful treatment rate at about 90 percent while reducing the percentage of the district’s default cases to a minimum.