Challenge TB: Our Impact

The Bangladesh Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched the Zero TB Cities Initiative in Dhaka on October 28, at an event attended by numerous local government and global healthcare leaders, including the U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh, Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat, Management Sciences for Health’s (MSH’s) CEO, Marian W. Wentworth, and representatives from the Stop TB Partnership, Harvard Center for Global Health Delivery-Dubai, the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease, and Interactive Research and Development.  

 {Photo credit: Warren Zelman}Ethiopia is making progress in tackling tuberculosis, the leading infectious disease killer along with HIV.Photo credit: Warren Zelman

This week, MSH is joining researchers, advocates, civil society, scientists, healthcare professionals, and students working on all aspects of lung health around the world in Guadalajara, Mexico for the 48th Union World Conference on Lung Health, where tuberculosis is the key topic. Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide, with over 95% of TB deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. Although tremendous progress has been made in the ongoing fight against this disease, some key segments of the population continue to shoulder the burden of TB more acutely.

 {Photo Credit: Males Emmanuel/MSH}Baby Mary after two successful weeks on anti-TB treatmentPhoto Credit: Males Emmanuel/MSH

At nine months old, Mary Yeno had lived with TB for nearly half of her short life before being accurately diagnosed and treated. Mary’s mother, Flora Faida, carried the baby to three different health facilities without success. “She was coughing and had difficulty breathing. She stopped breastfeeding,” Faida said.

 {Photo Credit: Landry Serges-Malaba/MSH}Alain Kelende, mason and former TB patientPhoto Credit: Landry Serges-Malaba/MSH

Alain Kelende had been a mason his whole life, but for the past two years, he was exhausted every day and could not stop coughing, making it difficult to work. Kelende, 42, lives with his wife and two children in a peri-urban community of Kinshasa. Like many in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), he resisted going to a clinic. Instead, he self-medicated for worms and, he said, “kept coughing and growing weaker.”

 {Photo credit: Francis Hajong/MSH}Anika and her mother.Photo credit: Francis Hajong/MSH

Anika was a 22-month-old baby girl living in Belai Chandi Kuthipara in the northern part of Bangladesh when she became sick with fever, cough, and weight loss. She was admitted to the LAMB’s Missionary Hospital in Parbotipur, run by one of the many NGOs where the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Challenge TB project, led by Management Sciences for health (MSH) in Bangladesh, is funding active tuberculosis (TB) case finding among high-risk groups such as children, people living with HIV, and diabetics.

 {Photo: MSH staff}Nimeri and his family relocated to Yei when war broke out in Juba. Nimeri was in his sixth month of TB treatment.Photo: MSH staff

Ripenti Nimeri Yotma is a 40-year-old soldier who has lived through war and being displaced. But it was a battle with Tuberculosis (TB) that almost killed him. The father of three children (aged 14, 4, and one and a half), Nimeri presently lives in Logobero Village, Yei Boma. However, his illness started in April 2013 while he was still living in Juba. When his persistent cough eventually led to him coughing up blood-stained mucus, Nimeri’s wife took him to the nearest health center in Juba City, where he was examined.

{Photo credit: MSH staff}Photo credit: MSH staff

Kabul is the largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of over 3 million people. The population density leads to overcrowding and strains health systems and infrastructure. In a country with a high tuberculosis (TB) burden, TB service delivery has been a particular challenge. In 2009, only 22 of the 106 existing public and private health facilities in Kabul provided partial TB services. TB case detection was only 26 percent, and the treatment success rate was 49 percent. All TB indicators for the city consistently fell below national targets.

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