New drugs for drug-resistant TB is a lifeline

Veka has extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB). The treatment he was on for a long time was having no effect. When the 'compassionate use' program for new drugs was introduced in Armenia Veka was able to get on better treatment . He still struggles with side-effects, but he is much improved. "Now I have to take 16 pills a day. I used to have to take 21 or 22," he says. "I am short of breath and my joints are weak. As for side effects - it's my hearing! I can't hear anything in this ear and only vaguely in this one. But I'm taking the new treatment and I feel better, and I'm less worried."