Niranjan KonduriMotivated frontline health workers play a key role achieving global strategies to fight tuberculosis (TB), writes MSH Principal Technical Advisor Niranjan Konduri, of USAID's Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program, for The Lancet Global Health Blog. Using the story of Irina Chaban, a Ukrainian TB doctor, as an example, Konduri highlights the challenges health workers in low- and middle-income countries must overcome while working to eradicate TB.
An estimated two billion people worldwide are infected with mycobacterium tuberculosis, more commonly known as tuberculosis, or TB. Despite major successes reducing global TB prevalence and mortality rates, TB is the single greatest infectious disease killer globally, surpassing HIV & AIDS. In 2014, 1.5 million people died from TB, including about 400,000 who also had HIV.
This week, at the 46th Union World Conference on Lung Health (hashtag #WCLH2015), the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded and Management Sciences for Health (MSH)-led, Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program is launching a new tool to improve how the safety and effectiveness of medicines is monitored in low- and middle-income countries.
“I started feeling this coughing… so I went to the health center and got tested. It was positive for TB,” says Grace*, a young Ugandan woman. She started on medicines, but after two months, she stopped adhering to treatment.They told me to continue with the drugs for five more months, but I stopped.I thought I was ok.She started coughing again, went to the hospital, and was diagnosed with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). MDR-TB cannot be treated with two of the most powerful first-line treatment anti-TB drugs. Her treatment regimen?
Guaranteeing that patients have uninterrupted access to anti-tuberculosis (TB) treatment begins with national TB programs (NTP) making complex calculations about how many cases to expect in the future. Vigilant stock management, accurate number of cases started on each type of treatment along with forecasting the expected number of patients that will be enrolled on treatment, are vital to ensure that medicines are available to all patients who need them.
"At the Duka" tells the story of a Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services Program (SIAPS) project to increase early detection of tuberculosis in Tanzania.
SIAPS partnered with the Tanzanian National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Program to train drug dispensers on the symptoms of TB, so that they could refer clients with these symptoms to TB diagnostic and treatment centers for follow up.
Mildred Fernando lives and works in the Philippines for the USAID-funded, MSH-led, Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program. Mildred spoke at several World TB Day events in Washington, DC, including at a senate briefing and an event honoring TB survivors and advocates (watch video). The interview below first appeared on the SIAPS blog.It all began in November 2001 for Mildred Fernando when she was diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB), a preventable and curable disease which caused the death of 1.4 million people in 2011.