Why are we here?
In Nukus, Karakalpakstan, in the western part of Uzbekistan, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) officially launched the tuberculosis (TB) PRACTECAL clinical trial in December. The first patients will begin treatment in January 2017.
The trial combines the first new TB drugs available in over 50 years with existing drugs that treat drug-resistant forms of the disease. Uzbekistan is among the top 27 countries with the highest rates of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).
In July, MSF began treating children with a shorter regimen of nine months, instead of the usual 12 months or more, and is conducting research into the results.
At the end of December 2016, eight children were on the shorter treatment. The medical outcomes for adults on the shorter treatment will be published in March.
These initiatives are part of MSF’s drive to develop shorter, more tolerable treatment regimens for people suffering from TB.
MSF runs all its TB projects in collaboration with the regional and central ministries of health.
These long-standing relationships have enabled MSF to develop a model of care that for some patients combines outpatient care with state of the art diagnostic tests, Genexpert, and a comprehensive support programme.
Where possible, this allows them to be treated in their homes from day one. In 2016, over 2,646 patients started TB treatment on this programme; 1,767 were treated for drug-sensitive TB and 878 for drug-resistant TB§ 29 were started on bedaquiline, linezolid and imipenem, 12 on bedaquiline and linezolid, and eight on linezolid and the conventional regimen.
In the capital, Tashkent, MSF supports the regional AIDs centre, with the aim of increasing access to diagnosis and care for patients living with HIV and treating co-infections.
In 2016, 25 patients started treatment for hepatitis C, and for the first time in Uzbekistan, 13 patients were put on third-line drugs for HIV, after their initial and subsequent therapies ceased to work. In total, 842 patients started antiretroviral treatment in 2016.
No. staff in 2016: 248 | Expenditure: €9.8 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 1997 | msf.org/uzbekistan