Tuberculosis: Our Impact

 {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: MSH Nigeria}Photo credit: MSH Nigeria

Motivated by drastic improvements in record keeping, record storage capacity, and shorter consultation times—all due to the introduction of the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system—the Federal Medical Center Gusau, Zamfara has committed to scaling up the EMR system.

{Photo Credit: Tadeo Atuhura/MSH}Photo Credit: Tadeo Atuhura/MSH

How US Foreign Assistance is Making A Difference Uganda has made great progress in controlling the HIV epidemic and increasing access to critical HIV and health services in recent years. Under the Government of Uganda’s leadership and with the support of development partners, such as MSH, Uganda has reached the second of UNAIDS global 90-90-90 goals: 90% of people living with HIV who know their status are on treatment. 

Erik Schouten

In 2011, Malawi implemented an ambitious and pioneering “test-and-treat” HIV strategy for pregnant and breastfeeding women, known as Option B+. Erik Schouten, MSH's Country Lead and Project Director of  the District Health System Strengthening and Quality Improvement for Service Delivery Project in Malawi, supported the roll-out of the program.

{Photo Credit: Michael Paydos/MSH}Photo Credit: Michael Paydos/MSH

Tuberculosis is one of the top causes of death globally. In many of the countries most affected by this disease, drug sellers—also known as private pharmacies—are the first point of contact for people seeking health care. By some estimates, about 50 percent of TB patients’ first contact with the health system is from a private pharmacy.

{Photo Credit: Diana Tumuhairwe/MSH}Photo Credit: Diana Tumuhairwe/MSH

At six months pregnant, Angela Namatovu was excited. The pregnancy was going well, and she could not wait to give birth to her baby boy. Like any careful expectant mother, when she developed a cough, she knew that the right thing to do was seek medical attention. She went to a nearby local clinic in the Simbwe, Wakiso district in central Uganda, not thinking her symptom was anything serious. The health facility could not find anything wrong but still referred her to Mulago Hospital. There, she was asked for sputum samples and was also given medication for 10 days.

 {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.”

The Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) project, funded by USAID and led by MSH, has conducted a global survey about e-TB Manager, an electronic management tool for tuberculosis (TB) control programs. More than 1700 users from around the world participated in the survey, which asked respondents about their experiences and satisfaction using the tool.

 {Photo credit: MSH staff}Kasifa Mugala, 34, started feeling ill while she was pregnant, and started ART after referral for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. “I am very happy. I gave birth to a healthy baby who is now turning one year old,” she said. “I did not know that I would ever be fine. I am grateful to our village health team.”Photo credit: MSH staff

Esther Nyende, 45, is a member of her village health team and a community leader in Uganda’s eastern Pallisa District. Nyende alone has referred 20 clients who are now receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART).

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