How MSF is fighting COVID-19 in Uzbekistan
We continue to support IPC measures across the primary health care system and training for staff in COVID-19 treatment facilities. Additionally, we coordinate with the Ministry of Health for the treatment of patients co-infected with COVID-19 and TB. Standard operating procedures approved by the health ministry have been developed and distributed to all medical facilities.
Learn more about how we are responding to the coronavirus pandemic in Uzbekistan.
In Uzbekistan, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) focuses on improving diagnosis and treatment for people with tuberculosis (TB), including drug-resistant forms of the disease, and HIV.
For years, people in Uzbekistan have been fighting a drug-resistant form of tuberculosis (DR-TB). The disease has affected both children and adults alike, especially in the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan. In another region of the country, Tashkent, there are civilians who are not only fighting HIV but are co-infected with other sexually transmitted infections.
In January 2019, we started to enroll new patients in the Tashkent region for our multi-site TB PRACTECAL clinical trial. This trial was launched in 2017 in Nukus, Karakalpakstan, to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of two of the newer TB drugs—bedaquiline and pretomanid—on a much shorter and more tolerable regimen lasting just six months. By the end of 2019, we had 166 patients enrolled across the two sites. Learn how you can best help in Uzbekistan and other countries.
We also work with the Ministry of Health at our project in Tashkent, which focuses on improving the availability of integrated care for HIV patients co-infected with TB, sexually transmitted infections, and hepatitis C through a "one-stop shop" model. Since the end of 2018, we have been providing services to high-risk groups, such as sex workers and people who inject drugs, in the greater Tashkent area. We are also moving forward with plans to use the TB LAM test to facilitate diagnosis of TB in HIV patients. Please donate to support our work in Uzbekistan and other countries around the world now.
The Karakalpakstan TB project implements a comprehensive patient-centered model of care. In 2019, 2,130 patients received treatment as part of this program, 660 of whom were treated for drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) and 1,470 for drug-sensitive TB.
Towards the end of the year, as part of our commitment to introduce best practice guidance, we supported the Ministry of Health in the rollout of TB care protocol based of the revised WHO consolidated guidelines for DR-TB treatment in Karakalpakstan. In line with the policy recommendations of the WHO consolidated guidelines, we upgraded the laboratory capacity by introducing drug-susceptibility testing for both new and repurposed TB drugs (bedaquiline, linezolid, clofazimine, moxifloxacin, amikacin and pretomanid).