Photostory: Treating Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Mumbai

Sneha Pal (F/18) who has been receiving treatment for the past 6 months from MSF for her XXDRTB, poses for a portrait at her home in Santosh Nagar, Goregaon East, Mumbai. Photographs of MSF Mumbai project during the visit of Canadian Olympian Helen Upperton in Jan 2014.
Sami Siva
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Although tuberculosis (TB) is preventable and curable, it is the second-biggest infectious disease killer behind HIV and claims nearly 1.3 million lives each year.

The spread of drug-resistant strains of the disease is increasingly recognized as a public health emergency. Drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) is an umbrella term that refers to tuberculosis strains which resist the drugs routinely used to treat conventional TB.

The term DR-TB includes multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), where the patient is resistant to two of the most effective tuberculosis medicines, and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), which is even harder to cure.

This photo gallery offers a glimpse into the world of DR-TB patients and staff at an MSF clinic in Mumbai, India. Treatment is long, complex, and painful, with severe side effects.

At the 2014 World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, former XDR-TB patient Phumeza Tisile of South Africa is calling attention to MSF’s demands for progress against this epidemic. She will deliver the 'Test Me, Treat Me' DR-TB Manifesto and its call to action—supported by tens of thousands of patients, medical practitioners, and advocates—directly to delegates as they discuss the next 20-year global plan to control tuberculosis.  

For more information, visit the “Test Me, Treat Me” DR-TB Manifesto campaign website: https://www.msfaccess.org/TBmanifesto/

*Patients’ names have been changed to protect their privacy.

Sneha Pal (F/18) who has been receiving treatment for the past 6 months from MSF for her XXDRTB, poses for a portrait at her home in Santosh Nagar, Goregaon East, Mumbai. Photographs of MSF Mumbai project during the visit of Canadian Olympian Helen Upperton in Jan 2014.
Sami Siva
MSF clinic staff members - doctors, nurses, outreach nurses, counsellors seen at a meeting at the MSF clinic.
Sami Siva
Samrajam Yellamali, a HIV / XDRTB patient seen at the MSF clinic during her routine check up.
Sami Siva
Samrajam Yellamali, a HIV / XDRTB patient receives her TB medication at the MSF clinic during her visit for routine check up.
Sami Siva
Samrajam Yellamali, a HIV / XDRTB patient seen at the MSF clinic during her routine check up.
Sami Siva
MSF clinic staff member, Santosh, records the patient status during a meeting at the MSF clinic.
Sami Siva
Asmaa Valiyakath, Patient Support Manager, seen with a newly admitted patient at the MSF clinic in Mumbai.
Sami Siva
A HIV / MDRTB patient waits for his turn to see the doctor during his routine check up at the MSF clinic in Mumbai.
Sami Siva
A HIV / XDRTB patient seen at the MSF clinic during a counselling session with the psychologist Santosh Jha at MSF clinic in Mumbai.
Sami Siva
Sneha Pal (F/18) has been receiving treatment for the past 6 months from MSF for her XXDRTB seen with her mother Urmila Pal (42) at her home in Santosh Nagar, Goregaon East, Mumbai. Photographs of MSF Mumbai project during the visit of Canadian Olympian Helen Upperton in Jan 2014.
Sami Siva