06 March 2013
Once considered a disease on the decline, the social and economic downfall that followed after the collapse of the Soviet Union has sparked an escalation of the TB epidemic in many post-USSR countries, including Ukraine. The country’s prisons are a hotbed for the disease, with prevalence rates more than ten times higher than in the rest of society. In the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, MSF now provides treatment and support to over 140 inmates and ex-inmates suffering from multi-drug-resistant (MDR) TB. Vladimir Shalashniy, Coordinator for MSF’s post-release activities, is checking up on a 31-year old patient who is staying at the Artyomovsk TB dispensary. Photo: Niklas Bergstrand/MSF“It’s hard to sit up and I’ve got pain...
27 January 2013
The hidden cost of inactionA rapid MSF survey showed the depot crisis’ direct impact on thousands of regular patients who couldn’t get their drugs. Several hundred people now potentially face a lifetime of drug-resistance to first line treatment, while scores of unnecessary deaths potentially resulted from the acute break in service delivery. The erratic drug supply also affected patients newly eligible for ART or TB treatment. This is especially severe for HIV/TB co-infected children. As paediatric TB drugs were widely out of stock, children could not be treated for TB and consequently could not start on ARVs either.
PRESS RELEASE: MSF, TAC urge SA health authorities to deal with drug supply problems now to avert future crises
31 January 2013
MSF winds up temporary support from Eastern Cape medical depot; MSF and TAC call on health authorities to better train staff, provide emergency response. MSF derivering life-saving drugs from Mthatha depot to St Elizabeth Hospital in Lusikisiki. Photo: Radoslav Antonov/MSFMthatha/Cape Town/Johannesburg - After responding to a drug distribution crisis at Mthatha medical depot between 7 December and 24 January, the medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is handing all activities back to Eastern Cape health authorities. The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) will mobilise 25 volunteers to assist in the handover. During this period, the intervention mitigated widespread and...
16 January 2013
Syria: Helpless and destitute civiliansTuberculosis: something positive to report!International conference: endangered livesSouth Sudan - Yida: closely monitoring the situationDemocratic Republic of Congo: Preventing measles in displaced children
20 December 2012
What if the medicines that could save your life cost a hundred times what you earn in a year?Many people in developing countries can’t get hold of the treatment they need to stay alive and healthy.That’s why Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders launched the MSF Access Campaign in 1999 to find ways of ensuring that medicines could be made available for all our patients and others in developing countries.Our mission is to increase access to – and the development of – affordable, practical and effective drugs, vaccines and diagnostic tests for diseases that affect people in places where we work.We are a multi-disciplinary team that includes doctors, pharmacists, scientists, lawyers, as well as advocacy and communications...
08 January 2013
CAPE TOWN – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the first new tuberculosis (TB) treatment in 50 years, bedaquiline, to treat multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). The news strengthens efforts to make the drug available in South Africa to patients who have failed all other MDR-TB treatment options.“There is an urgent need for new drugs like this given the growing epidemic of drug-resistant TB in places like South Africa,” says Dr Eric Goemaere, HIV & TB Advisor for MSF in Southern Africa.“Hopefully, this will be the first of several new therapies for use in combinations that dramatically increase the efficacy of TB treatment and shorten the time people have to undergo treatment.” XDR-TB survivor and peer...
Global Health Activists gather in Cape Town rallying against Novartis’ attack on the ‘pharmacy of the developing world’
11 July 2012
31 October 2012
Mary Marizani and her family. Photo: MSFIn her home on the outskirts of Zimbabwe’s capital city, 48-year-old Mary Marizani says that, although she has conquered multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), she now faces another challenge: “I have my appetite back and now I am eating everything in sight.” Mary’s ability to joke has finally been restored following two gruelling years of medical treatment for MDR-TB which included daily injections and a cocktail of highly toxic pills that made her vomit, lose her appetite and hallucinate.“I felt like I had bugs crawling on the inside of my head,” she says.Mary first showed the symptoms of tuberculosis (TB) in 2006, after caring for four members of her family who had the disease. After...