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Improving the health of the population in Romania by increasing TB control

Project financed by the Norwegian Grants 2009 - 2014, within the RO 19 - Public Health Initiative.

The rapid diagnosis of a resistant form of tuberculosis is essential for the patient to be able to benefit from the most efficient treatment and to be cured. The classical methods for diagnosis and for testing the susceptibility to anti-tuberculosis medication may take between 21 days and 3 months. During all this time, the Romanian doctors and patients must wait until the patient’s treatment can be determined, and this delay is dangerous for both the patient and the community, because a person suffering from tuberculosis who is not undergoing the correct treatment is contagious and may spread the disease to close persons (family, colleagues, friends). On the other hand, the administration of a treatment that is not appropriate for the form of tuberculosis the patient has may favour the development of an even more resistant form of TB.

At the end of February 2015, the procurement of LPA and MGIT equipment was completed for the endowment of the network of 8 laboratories that are to be modernised under this project, for the rapid diagnosis of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Also, supply contracts have already been signed for 3 MGIT systems and, by 10 March they will be installed in the laboratories of the pulmonology units in Bucharest, Cluj and Bacău. The staff in the laboratories where the equipment is to be installed will be trained in the modern diagnosis techniques. The training will take place under the coordination of the Marius Nasta Institute of Pulmonology.

By enabling the diagnosis of MDR TB within a very short time interval (2 to 48 hours), the advanced equipment procured under the project offers patients the chance to immediately receive the treatment appropriate for their form of TB.

Marius, a 27-year old IT manager, has been hospitalised at the Marius Nasta Institute for almost two months. He finds it hard to understand what happened to him and why, all of a sudden, his full and always agitated life seems to have come to a standstill. He is one of the patients suspected of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis who wait for their treatment to be determined. Now, Marius has been given an additional chance because, due to the modern equipment procured under this project, he will benefit from rapid diagnosis and from an appropriate treatment. And, if he observes all the indications given by his doctors, he will be cured.