Dr. Luca Scoizzato observes TB patients in the chest ward of Mon district hospital in Nagaland. Drug-resistant TB patients are kept under observation for the first month of their treatment.
Since 2010, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has been comprehensively supporting the Civil Hospital in Mon – a remote area of India’s north easternmost state, Nagaland. Together with the local authorities, MSF started treating patients with drug-susceptible TB and drug-resistant-TB (DR-TB) in April 2012. Since then, around 255 sensitive TB patients have been put on treatment and eight DR-TB patients. People in this remote and mountainous region have severely limited access to health care, with very few health workers and almost no medical specialists. They must often travel for hours to reach the nearest hospital. For this reason, MSF has introduced the decentralized model of care in Mon. Medicines are given to these patients and their caretakers on a monthly basis, so that they can avoid the need to travel to clinic more often – an expense they can rarely afford.