Treatment for tuberculosis - Yuri, Belarus Photograph by Victoria Gendina/MSF

"My doctors told me, 'This is the only chance'"

Yuri - treated in Belarus for drug-resistant tuberculosis 

Photograph by Victoria Gendina/MSF
Treatment for tuberculosis - Yuri, Belarus Photograph by Victoria Gendina/MSF

How can access to treatment change a life?

Wherever possible, MSF chooses to use the most effective medicines, treatment and approaches to care that put people at the centre. That’s because they significantly increase the chance that a person can be cured.

We strive to:

  • accurately diagnose TB, determine what type it is and find out which drugs are effective against it
  • design the right treatment using newer, more effective medicines
  • help people get drugs and tests on time, and provide supportive care for as long as treatment is needed

Yuri was losing hope that he would ever beat tuberculosis.

He had extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB). It’s a form of the disease that can’t be cured with standard medicines, and sometimes not even with the most powerful medicines we use against TB.

But after two gruelling years of treatment, he still wasn’t getting better.

Yuri’s doctors said he had one chance left: a treatment programme offered by MSF in cooperation with Belarus’ government, using the latest TB drugs. He enrolled right away.

“I started to improve immediately,” he said. “The tests, the X-rays – everyone was surprised!” 

Yuri was fortunate. For many others, this treatment with new drugs isn’t available.

Today, he’s free of TB. And we’re working to bring everyone access to the same level of care.

Three things to know about TB

Spotlight on current work

For more in-depth information on our current work in improving access to TB treatment, have a look at our projects:


Time for $5

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TB Practecal

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What MSF staff are saying

Jennifer Hughes Statement Treatment for Tuberculosis Photograph by Sydelle WIllow Smith

“If I am diagnosed with drug-resistant TB I would have access to bedaquiline, delamanid, linezolid - all these drugs - as easily as I want because I can afford to pay for it. But a person in Khayelitsha wouldn’t have it as easy, and that is unfair.”

Dr Jennifer Hughes, writing from South Africa.