Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, March 26, 2013
By: Zhyldyz Ysykeeva and Tom Mohr, Project HOPE Kyrgyzstan

Project HOPE’s tuberculosis (TB) program in Kyrgyzstan is yielding some positive results.  Here is one success story.

When he was three years old, Hamid* was one of nine children who became infected with HIV at a health facility in Kyrgyzstan. Eight years have passed since Hamid was diagnosed with HIV, but each year has been a constant fight against disease. 

Tuberculosis (TB) Success in Kyrgyzstan

Unfortunately, in 2010, Hamid was diagnosed with TB for the second time. He was treated for TB at a local health facility for 10 months before being transferred to a national center with a children’s multi-drug-resistant TB department.

At the national center, it was discovered that Hamid’s strain of TB was resistant to all four of the medicines normally used to treat TB.  Hamid was switched to more powerful medicines for eight months and given antiretroviral therapy for his HIV.  Over the course of the eight months, Hamid experienced fever, vomiting, rashes, and shortness of breath.  Hamid’s doctors provided auxiliary treatment to mediate these side effects and offer some relief to Hamid.  

Hamid was a brave patient and unafraid of “injections and people in white gowns.” A year and a half after Hamid was diagnosed with TB for the second time he completed treatment and returned home.  Hamid returned to his favorite activities: drawing and watching cartoons. His favorite cartoon is “My Neighbor Totoro,” in which Totoro, “a big, kind cat,” is a superhero. Hamid believes that “one day [he] will meet Totoro, who will protect [him] from diseases under a big umbrella.”

Tuberculosis (TB) Success in Kyrgyzstan

In Kyrgyzstan, Project HOPE is working to improve the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis (TB) and drug-resistant TB.  Project HOPE has been training health care professionals, improving diagnostic laboratories through the addition of new technologies and improving access to both first-line and second-line TB medicines that can treat drug-resistant TB. 

*The name of the child in this story has been changed to protect his identity.

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