Newsmaker: Seeking partners in Russia to fight MDR-TB

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Vladimir Troitskiy, head of medical department for Russia’s Federal Penitentiary System

Vladimir Troitskiy, head of medical department for Russia’s Federal Penitentiary System

This live blog is from the Pacific Health Summit in Seattle, a three-day meeting that opened Tuesday night. Its focus is the global response to multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.

Vladimir Troitskiy, head of medical department for Russia’s Federal Penitentiary System, under the Minister of Justice, told people attending the Pacific Health Summit on Wednesday that Russia was making inroads in fighting MDR-TB, but needed help. The country has 860,000 prisoners, and 42,000 have tuberculosis. Of those with TB, 7,000 have MDR-TB.

Q: How does MDR-TB rate on the list of medical issues in Russia’s prisons?

VT: It’s the first issue – the most important one for me.

Q: What kind of help do you need?

VT: We have some positive results in TB intervention in Russia, but still the TB situation is not solved in the penitentiary system.  So I would like to bring more attention to my sector to the improve the situation.

Q:  What are your greatest needs?

VT:  We have a group of needs. We need to improve diagnostic facilities, we need modern TB drugs, and we need better epidemiological surveillance.

Q: When a prisoner with MDR-TB is released, do you ensure that they continue to get care with civilian doctors?

VT:  Before they are released, HIV and TB patients are given written documents addressed to the civilian sectors informing them of their status.

Q: Are you confident patients get treatment outside?

VT: There’s no order or regulation in Russia which requires that they register  in a medical facility. Doctors in the penitentiary system talk a lot with inmates about how important it is for them to register. But we have no regulation enforcing it.

Q: Do you want such a regulation?

VT: We need it, yes.

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