MSF is working with the Ministry of Health in Belarus to improve adherence to treatment for patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).
Belarus is listed as an MDR-TB high burden country in the World Health Organization’s 2016 Global Tuberculosis Report. MSF is supporting the Ministry of Health in four TB facilities: the Republican Scientific and Practical Centre of Pulmonology and Tuberculosis (RSPC PT), 1st and 2nd City TB dispensaries in Minsk, and City TB hospital in Volkovichi, Minsk region. MSF provides psychosocial support (counselling, food parcels, transport vouchers, support by social workers) to between 150 and 200 patients each month to help them stay on their treatment. MSF conducted a review in 2016 and identified alcohol use disorder as one of the main risk factors for poor adherence and the team now addresses this in the programme.
By the end of 2016, MSF was also treating 50 patients with extensively drug-resistant TB with new regimens containing bedaquiline and/or delamanid
The MSF project is participating in the endTB observational study (output 1). The study covers more than 15 countries and aims to find shorter, less toxic and more effective treatments for multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) with fewer debilitating side effects. MSF is conducting the study in partnership with Partners In Health and Interactive Research and Development. By the end of December 2016, 46 patients in Belarus had been recruited for the study.
Year MSF first worked in the country: 2015