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Siyabulela Qwaka is the latest patient cured of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) in the MSF project in Khayelitsha, South Africa. Watch as he takes his last dose of the difficult, two-year treatment, and shares his joy with his doctor, community and fellow patients.
Siyabulela Qwaka is the latest patient cured of drug resistant TB in MSF’s project in Khayelitsha, South Africa. His story is an inspiration for the others currently fighting the new form of tuberculosis against which existing drugs are of limited effectiveness. As his journey is over, Siyabulela has abandoned the weapon he had been using for the past two years to fight his illness: humour. “...
Die voorkoms van middelweerstandige tuberkulose (MDR-TB) het binne 'n paar jaar verdubbel... En baie mense wat die vorm van tuberkulose opdoen, het nie voorheen "gewone TB" gehad nie - hulle kry dadelik die ernstiger vorm... Hoewel die nasionale departement van gesondheid sy diagnose van die siekte verbeter het deur GeneXpert-masjiene te koop, kom Suid-Afrika net nie die mas op met...
A 21-year-old Khayelitsha woman, Funiwe Mbhamhama, talks about her experience suffering from extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, known as XDR-TB... Her twin sister, Funeka who contracted XDR-TB in 2008 during her matric year in 2008, has since died from the disease. Read article HERE
The dreaded “consumption,” one of the world's oldest diseases, had plagued the ancient Egyptians and ravaged 19th-century Europe and North America. New drugs in the 1940s made it possible to beat TB at last, and the number of cases plummeted... Virulently drug-resistant strains of TB have emerged, treatment has not kept pace, and the disease is again on the rise, infecting more than 8 million...
  This is the 8th edition of the MSF HIV/TB clinical guide. The first edition was developed for use in primary health care level HIV clinics opened by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in the township of Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa. It successfully became a practical reference tool for nurses and doctors in the clinics in Khayelitsha, and...
Despite an increase in diagnosis times, South Africa is facing a growing drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) burden as nationally there remains a large gap between the number of patients diagnosed with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and those who start treatment... Between 2007 and 2012, recorded cases of MDR-TB, which is resistant to at least two of the primary drugs used to combat standard TB,...
A new briefing paper by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) outlines why the alarming spread of deadly strains of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) is one of the biggest global health threats we face today. It calls on governments, pharmaceutical companies and researchers to mobilise urgently to save more lives and find new treatments to stem the virulent disease. Download...
Marta is receiving bedaquilin and impenem for her extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) in Yerevan, Armenia. These are not new drugs but they are newly available in Armenia and can make treatment more effective. But, says TB doctor Hakob Atsheyan, "you can say this is a last chance." Doctors Without Borders (MSF) treated nearly 30,000 TB patients in 2013 in 90 projects...
Vardan in Armenia has multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). In 2013 he underwent surgery to remove his left lung. His treatment for MDR-TB has been arduous and painful. "During that seven year period [before surgery] I spent a total of eight months at home with my family. I spent the other six and a half years in hospitals." After surgery the side effects of his drugs became almost...
Broyan, an inmate at Yerevan prison in Armenia, takes 13 pills and gets two injections every day for his extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB). "I am optimistic because I can feel the difference," he says. "I think I will be cured." Doctors Without Borders (MSF) treated nearly 30,000 TB patients in 2013 in 90 projects around the world.
Drug resistant TB is gaining ground in South Africa, with 15 000 new cases diagnosed in 2012, double the cases recorded four years previously. Of these, nearly 8% are resistant to the very few second-line drugs available and have extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB). Khayelitsha in the Western Cape has one of the highest burdens of TB and drug resistant TB strains. Crowded conditions...
  Executive summary: Global drug-resistant TB crisis demands mass mobilisation and new treatments Tuberculosis is one of the gravest public health threats facing the world today, and is all the more serious as drug resistance takes a grip. Tuberculosis (TB) is a curable disease, but an inadequate global response has allowed the...
Thousands of health activists yesterday marched to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to demand the finalisation of a national Intellectual Property (IP) Policy before May 7 to ensure that South Africans have improved access to drugs... The Fix the Patent Laws campaign - spearheaded by the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and SECTION 27 - believes that the...
Health activists yesterday petitioned the Department of Trade and Industry, demanding that it finalise its policy on intellectual property rights... The Treatment Action Campaign, Doctors without Borders, and Section 27 said SA's intellectual property laws affecting medicines needed to be changed to promote greater access to cheap generics.  Read article below Download the article...
After some haggling and persuasion, arguments and singing by Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) activists at the Department of Trade and Industry yesterday officials gave in, crossing a parking lot, to receive a memo on a stage set up some way from the building... The activists had marched to the department yesterday morning, in protest against the delayed implementation of patent laws, which they...
While clinical disease caused by drug-sensitive Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) can usually be treated successfully, clinical disease caused by drug-insensitive MTB is associated with a poorer prognosis... In December 2012, a new drug, bedaquiline, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration...This article documents the process whereby the National Department of Health, Right to Care and...
The tuberculosis epidemic in Ukraine is among the most severe in the European region, with nearly 700,000 people infected. All photos by Alexander Glyadyelov
Since June 2012, MSF has been treating prisoners and ex prisoners with drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. Paola Mermati, MSF’s Field Coordinator in Donetsk, talks about the challenges of treating such patients successfully.  How are these patients different from others? The rate of TB here in the Donetsk region is ten times higher...
  Contrary to what you might think, MSF fieldworkers are not all medical professionals. Because the work we do requires a diverse team to meet the specific needs of each project, we draw on a range of other skilled professionals. Emilie Venables is a British anthropologist working in MSF’s HIV and TB project in Eshowe, KwaZulu-Natal. So where does an anthropologist...
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