This information is excerpted from MSF’s 2016 International Activity Report.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) launched a new clinical trial in Uzbekistan in December to develop a radically improved course of treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB). The first patients enrolled in the trial, TB PRACTECAL, began treatment in January 2017. The trial combines the first new TB drugs available in over 50 years with existing drugs to develop shorter, more tolerable treatment regimens. In July 2016, MSF began treating children with a shorter regimen of nine months, instead of the usual 12 months or more, and has been conducting research into the results. MSF also investigated medical outcomes for adults on the shorter treatment. MSF ran all of its TB projects as part of a longstanding collaboration with the regional and central ministries of health, combining outpatient care, state-of-the-art diagnostic tests, and a comprehensive support program. In 2016, over 2,646 patients started TB treatment on this program; 1,767 were treated for drug-sensitive TB, and 878 for drug-resistant TB.
In the capital, Tashkent, MSF supported the regional AIDS center to increase access to diagnosis and care for patients living with HIV and to better treat co-infections. In 2016, 25 patients started treatment for hepatitis C. For the first time in Uzbekistan, 13 patients were put on third-line drugs for HIV. In total, 842 patients started antiretroviral treatment in 2016.