Dina, 23 years old, is being treated for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in Indonesia. Before being diagnosed with MDR-TB, she had no history of tuberculosis (TB). This means that Dina must have acquired the resistant strain through contact with someone affected by MDR-TB, rather than after being treated for standard, drug-susceptible TB. She is expected to be on treatment for 20-24 months. Even though Dina personally has no history of TB, she did have classmates who were affected by TB and her father had previously received treatment, using the CAT I (6 months ) & CAT II (8 months) regimens, to no resolve.
When Dina first started coughing, she visited a health centre where she was diagnosed with MDR-TB. Following her diagnosis, the health personnel also screened her family and detected drug-resistant TB in her father, instead of the drug-susceptible TB for which he was being treated.
Both father and daughter started MDR-TB treatment and have gone through 11 months of the 20-24 months treatment. Dina, who still wears her mask even when she is no longer infectious, mentions that she has been the vicitm of stigma and that she has lost some friends since her diagnosis. Fortunately however, she was able to complete her studies in Environmental Health while on treatment and is now looking for a job.
The Stop TB Partnership’s GDF is supporting Indonesia in the provision of MDR-TB drugs and the country is planning to introduce the shorter MDR-TB regimen (9-12 months) by July 2017 to help people like Dina. If Dina and her father had been enrolled on the shorter treatment regimen, they would have completed their treatment by now.
And there are many more people like Dina, who wish to be embraced back into society without a mask. With support from GDF, the use of the shorter MDR-TB treatment will be made possible for all eligible MDR-TB patients, who make up about 80% of the cases. GDF is working with the country to review its transition plans towards new drugs and regimens to control the spread of TB.