According to WHO's latest report, Belarus is listed as a multidrug-resistant TB high burden country. We are supporting the Ministry of Health in four TB facilities across Minsk city and region. Minsk is also a site for two clinical studies into shorter, innovative TB regimens which use newer TB drugs, TB PRACTECAL and endTB.
In Orsha, teams also treat inmates of a prison with DR-TB and co-infections such as hepatitis C, for which they receive direct-acting antiviral drugs.
Our activities in 2022 in Belarus
Data and information from the International Activity Report 2022.
In 2022, our team in the capital, Minsk, completed the final phase of the TB-PRACTECAL clinical trial, which was conducted across seven global sites and aimed to identify a new treatment regimen for patients with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). This all-oral, shorter regimen has proved to be more tolerable and more effective.
In May, the World Health Organization released communication on the guidance for the treatment of MDR-TB, recommending programmatic use of the TB-PRACTECAL regimen in place of the longer, existing regimens. Consequently, our teams supported the roll-out of the new regimen in Belarus under the SMARRTT (six-month all-oral regimens for rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis treatment) operational study, with 300 patients enrolled by the end of October.
We also continued to work in the penitentiary system, supporting the treatment of hepatitis C and TB, and in one location, the provision of mental health care.
Throughout 2022, thousands of people continued to travel to Belarus in the hope of crossing into the EU. Our teams offered medical and humanitarian assistance to people who had sustained injuries during attempts to cross or when exposed to harsh weather conditions while stranded in the forested border area. MSF continues to advocate for people on the move and call for greater humanitarian assistance to be provided for them.
Voices from the field
This experience has changed our outlook on life.Polina, a patient taking part in MSF's TB trial