By Tristan Bayly

Every day over 400 Nigerians die of TB, a disease that is preventable and curable. The epidemic is fueled by the large number of people with TB that go undiagnosed and untreated. One of the TB-hotspots is Lagos State which has one of the highest TB burdens in the country.

Mutiu Ayinla — Photo: Tristan Bayly

For Lagosian Mutiu Ayinla, who survived multidrug-resistant TB, music is more than just art, it’s a form of treatment. “Music really lifted me up and made me feel better when I needed it most,” he says. …

By Tristan Bayly & Huong Nguyen

Antibiotics have been available to treat tuberculosis (TB) since the 1940s, but the improper use of these drugs and the failure to ensure that patients complete the whole course of treatment, have given rise to strains of TB that have developed resistance.

Drug-resistant TB can be treated, but the normal treatment is unbearably long and involves the use of drugs with catastrophic side effects, such as hearing loss and psychosis. …

by Harriet Kagoya and Tristan Bayly

Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV together can be a lethal combination. Each disease affects the progression of the other, so it is important to get both diseases under control as quickly as possible. TB patients should know their HIV status and people who are living with HIV should be put on antiretroviral therapy.

Despite progress in treatment, people still fear that taking a test will be more harmful than not knowing if they are infected. There are legitimate concerns about discrimination, as people have been disowned by their families and friends, or denied housing and…

Dr. Lesia Shcherbakova is reviewing X-ray image of XDR-TB patient on bedaquiline Photo: F.G. Yanovsky

She knows how it is transmitted

She knows the symptoms

She knows how to treat it

The one thing she can’t tell you is exactly how she got it.

Despite what many people may think, tuberculosis (TB) is not a disease of a different era, it is a disease of the here and now. A disease which kills with impunity, and spares no one.

When she first got sick, she was working in a hospital doing her medical training. She recalls her first symptom wasn’t the usual coughing associated with the disease, it felt more like flu. She had a painful throat and a slight fever, but she felt unbelievably weak, and bit by bit she began to waste away. …

Supporting Patients with Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Tajikistan
By Sayora Ziyoyeva and Tristan Bayly

Drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis (TB) are on the rise worldwide. These forms of TB develop when people are prescribed the wrong drugs or if they fail to take their medicines properly or for the whole course.

The deadliest form of drug-resistant TB is called extensively drug-resistant TB, even if those who are unfortunate enough to have it are found in time, they still only a one in three chance of being cured.

The rise of drug-resistant TB is creating new challenges and threatens to remove the gains…

The beautiful Ala Kul lake, Kyrgyzstan — Photo: Kiyal

by Marion Biremon

Kiyal has found her weapons against tuberculosis (TB): staying optimistic and most importantly active. She’s on treatment for multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), a treatment that includes eight months of daily injections and nearly two years of antibiotics, but she’s keeping busy and taking every opportunity to fill her life with adventure. She has just come back from a six-day trek from the valley of Djety Oguz to the Ala Kol lake in western Kyrgyzstan. …

Bringing TB Diagnosis and Care to Those Who Need it Most

by Christopher Zishiri & Tristan Bayly

Miners queuing to be screened for TB in the truck — Photo: Paidamoyo Magaya

Tabita Kwanga lost her husband to tuberculosis (TB) in November 2016, leaving her alone with six young children to raise by all by herself. The loss of her husband was not only a terrible blow emotionally, it left the whole family destitute, with no source of income. Soon after burying her husband and just when she thought things couldn’t get any worse, she too was diagnosed with the disease.

Any other person would fall apart under this sort of pressure, but Tabita is no ordinary woman. She was put on six months of treatment…

Finding the missing TB patients in Nigeria

Those who share their living space with people who have tuberculosis (TB) have a much higher chance of catching the disease than the population in general, so not surprisingly checking all these people (known as ‘contact investigation’) is a way of finding more people who have TB.

In Nigeria, USAID’s Challenge TB project has trained over 338 healthcare workers, across 184 local government areas all of whom are now working as contact investigators and visiting the homes of every person who is diagnosed with TB. …

Marion Biremon & Tristan Bayly

When Umutai got sick with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) she was forced to go back to her home country of Kyrgyzstan and put her dreams on hold. She had only recently moved to Russia after leaving her job as a hairdresser in the southern region of Jalal-Abad, Kyrgyzstan. In Russia, she had been working on a construction site, the job was better-paid but difficult, but she had a hope of building a future for her family.

21-year-old Umutai had to let this go when she got sick. In Kyrgyzstan, she was diagnosed with MDR-TB and…

by Jean-Pierre Kabuayi & Tristan Bayly

The central prison of Mbuji-Mayi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was built in 1952 and designed to house just 150 inmates, but by 2016, this figure had risen to around 450. The conditions are cramped, hot, and un-ventilated, with many of the prisoners suffering from acute malnutrition.

This is the perfect environment for TB to take hold as the bacterium that causes the disease is spread by very small droplets that are produced when someone with TB coughs or spits. …

Challenge TB

Challenge TB is the flagship global mechanism for implementing USAID’s TB strategy as well as contributing to TB/HIV activities under PEPFAR.

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