45th Union World Conference on Lung Health: MSF finds deadly gaps in responses to drug-resistant TB

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BARCELONA, Spain — Wrong-headed policies and practices and serious gaps in care for drug resistant TB are fueling a worldwide public health crisis, said Médecins Sans Frontières in a IMG_0699new report, Out of Step, released today at the 45th Union World Conference on Lung Health.

The report surveys eight countries, India, Uzbekistan, Russian Federation, Myanmar, Brazil, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Kenya, and finds gaps in responses to TB including poor access to resistance testing, growing numbers of diagnosed patients going untreated and promising new drugs –bedaquiline and delamanid — out of reach to most patients. Too much hospitalization and too little community-based care and serious funding shortfalls were common in many of the countries surveyed.

The report includes a number of recommendations for these TB endemic countries while MSF calls for the acceleration of TB research into “much-needed short, tolerable and effective regimens.” The full report can be accessed here.

Meanwhile, MSF just released a study pubished in PLoS One that found a high burden of drug-resistant tuberculosis among HIV patients at antiretroviral centers in India, providing evidence that primary transmission is the cause of drug resistant TB in as many as one in four newly-diagnosed TB patients. The study found the proportion of drug-resistant TB to be 25 per cent among new cases of TB. This suggests an urgent need to address drug-resistant TB among people with HIV by offering screening, drug susceptibility testing and treatment based on actual resistance patterns. See the article here.

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