This year, MSF started to treat five tuberculosis (TB) patients with bedaquiline, one of the first new drugs for the disease in 50 years.
In Dushanbe hospital, a team is working with the Ministry of Health to support a comprehensive care programme for young people with TB and their families. Care is provided on an outpatient basis whenever possible, and the team looks for ways to improve access for people who live a long way from the hospital, for example by covering transport costs. Since 2014, MSF has been using drug compounding (combining drugs to create a formulation tailored to a patient’s needs) to make formulations suitable for children with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and 16 of them were initiated on treatment this year. Other aspects of the programme include nutritional and psychosocial support to help patients adhere to their often arduous regimens, activities to reduce the stigma of the disease, and systematic tracing of those people the patient has been in contact with.
Diagnostic tools, such as sputum induction and gastric lavage, are being used for the first time in the country, and the team is hoping to introduce others, including stool sampling and rapid drug sensitivity testing with GeneXpert, in the future. The paediatric TB protocol developed by MSF has been adopted as the national guideline.
In 2015, MSF also opened a new project in Kulob, southern Tajikistan, treating paediatric HIV and TB. Medical activities started in the spring of 2016.
No. staff in 2015: 73 | Expenditure: €1.8 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 1997 | msf.org/tajikistan