Treating Tuberculosis in Ukraine's Prisons

DR-TB patient Vladimir inside his cell in Colony 3, on the day before he is due to be released after having spent 4 years in prison. When he was not feeling too ill, he was repairing floors and working in the prison garage. He says he also worked on refurbishing his cell. “Nobody has a room like me, nobody has it better, because I repaired it myself” he says. A poster on his cell wall says “Take pleasure from life”
Alexander Glyadyelov/MSF
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Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been treating prisoners and ex-prisoners for drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) in the Donetsk region of Ukraine since June 2012.

View outside the SIZO facility in Mariupol, where prisoners awaiting trial are detained
Alexander Glyadyelov/MSF
DR-TB patient Vladimir inside his cell in Colony 3, on the day before he is due to be released after having spent 4 years in prison. When he was not feeling too ill, he was repairing floors and working in the prison garage. He says he also worked on refurbishing his cell. “Nobody has a room like me, nobody has it better, because I repaired it myself” he says. A poster on his cell wall says “Take pleasure from life”
Alexander Glyadyelov/MSF
Laboratory staff handling TB samples in Colony 3. MSF has renovated the laboratory and introduced infection control measures to reduce risk of transmission of TB
Alexander Glyadyelov/MSF
DR-TB patient Igor at the Colony 3 TB prison, on the last day of his prison sentence. Up until now, Igor has been sharing a cell with 14 other people. In prison, Igor became a member of the evangelical church and he constantly carries the gospel with him. Once Igor is released, he will be referred to the Mariupol TB hospital where he will continue his treatment. When he is cured he says he wants to spread the word of the Lord, but he has no idea what job to do. He says he just wants to avoid committing crimes again. “I want to do everything to make the Lord happy. I am praying for all who are staying here” he says
Alexander Glyadyelov/MSF
A prisoner and his wife enjoying a rare moment together in the hotel suite inside the Colony 3 prison grounds. Inmates who are not infectious are allowed to rent the suite once every three months to spend time with their family members. The suite is equipped with a bedroom, TV room, kitchen and bathroom.
Alexander Glyadyelov/MSF
A nurse is trying to explain to a DR- TB patient that it is necessary that he takes his daily dose of medication. He is about to be released from prison on medical grounds, as he has a heart problem and is very ill from DR-TB. A serious challenge is to ensure that patients continue taking their treatment until they are cured.
Alexander Glyadyelov/MSF
In the industrial zone of Colony 3, prisoners that are not infectious carry out work such as production of construction materials, woodcarving, sewing, painting and making religious shrines. Inside the woodcraft room, some ten inmates are working on producing wooden cases, often with elaborate designs. (name), has had many professions previously such as welding, repairing PCs, being a driver and doing construction work. He is busy carving a box with an illustration of an old ship with sails. “I had some skills in doing woodcraft before, but they were not so developed. But when I started coming here, I realised I could do this” he says. “I just invented the design of this ship. In the beginning I would copy images that I saw, now I do it from my mind.”
Alexander Glyadyelov/MSF
The Head of Colony 3 TB Prison, Valeriy Chigrinets, inside the prison compound. Chigrinets has worked for 25 years in the prison system and has been Director of Colony 3 since 1 ½ years. He says that the situation concerning TB is improving, and that the number of inmates with TB has decreased. But he also admits that more work needs to be done in detecting the virus, addressing drug-resistant TB and making sure that patients complete their treatment. “There is A DR-TB patient inside his cell. He is about to be released from prison on medical grounds, as he has a heart problem and is very ill from DR-TB.
Alexander Glyadyelov/MSF
DR-TB patient Vladimir arriving and registering at the Donetsk TB hospital, after having served a 4-year prison sentence in the Colony 3 TB prison. Vladimir is looking forward to meeting his three grandkids, who he has never met before. But he cannot move straight back home, as he needs to continue his treatment at the Donetsk TB hospital. His lungs are in poor condition and he may require surgery.
Alexander Glyadyelov/MSF