The prevalence of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) in Kyrgyzstan, one of the poorest nations in the Central Asian region, remains very high.
Kyrgyzstan has an inadequate healthcare system, experiencing frequent shortages, and today, many people struggle to access free treatment for DR-TB. The rates of drug resistance among new TB cases are as high as one third, and in previously treated TB cases, more than half of patients have developed the drug resistant form of the disease. The World Health Organization estimates that there are around 2,400 people with DR-TB in the country.
In the south of the country, MSF is working in Osh, Kara Suu district, providing outpatient care for people with DR-TB, thereby limiting the time they have to spend in hospital. Patients attend monthly medical consultations at one of three TB clinics supported by MSF. These consultations include psychological support, which helps them adhere to the arduous treatment that can take up to two years. MSF also mentors Ministry of Health staff.
Patients with the more severe forms of the disease are admitted to hospital. In Kara Suu hospital, which has 40 beds for DR-TB patients, MSF supports the Ministry of Health in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Another team supports the follow-up of patients receiving treatment at Osh TB hospital.
A total of 90 patients were enrolled in MSF’s DR-TB programme in 2016.
In December, MSF also launched activities in Aidarken, in Batken oblast. A team is developing a programme to treat people affected by diseases which have occurred as a result of mining extraction industries or environmental pollution in the area.
No. staff in 2016: 88 | Expenditure: €2.1 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 2005 | msf.org/kyrgyzstan