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Treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in a remote, conflict-affected area of the Democratic Republic of Congo [Notes from the field]

Authors: Shanks, L.1; Masumbuko, E. W.2; Ngoy, N. M.3; Maneno, M.3; Bartlett, S.1; Thi, S. S.1; Shah, T.1

Source: The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Volume 16, Number 8, 1 August 2012 , pp. 1066-1068(3)

Publisher: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease

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Abstract:

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a high-burden country for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Médecins Sans Frontières has supported the Ministry of Health in the conflict-affected region of Shabunda since 1997. In 2006, three patients were diagnosed with drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) and had no options for further treatment. An innovative model was developed to treat these patients despite the remote setting. Key innovations were the devolving of responsibility for treatment to non-TB clinicians remotely supported by a TB specialist, use of simplified monitoring protocols, and a strong focus on addressing stigma to support adherence. Treatment was successfully completed after a median of 24 months. This pilot programme demonstrates that successful treatment for DR-TB is possible on a small scale in remote settings.

Keywords: Democratic Republic of Congo; multidrug-resistant tuberculosis; resource-limited; tuberculosis

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5588/ijtld.11.0240

Affiliations: 1: Médecins Sans Frontières, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2: Médecins Sans Frontières, Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo 3: Ministry of Health, Shabunda, Democratic Republic of Congo

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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