Partners In Health (PIH), Interactive Research and Development (IRD) and the Zero TB Initiative (ZTBI) welcome the release of the interim results from the STREAM Stage 1 clinical trial. This is the first clinical trial of a new treatment regimen for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), and we congratulate the investigators for successfully conducting it. Unfortunately, we have noticed much confusion about the results of this clinical trial, both in the lay press and in the countries in which we work.
Fighting off a disease like TB has never been easy since it often comes coupled with issues of stigmatization, discrimination and other health related challenges to individuals who are suffering from it. It is estimated that 51 % of TB patients suffer from comorbid conditions like depression and anxiety due to the fear of social isolation and stress caused by prolonged treatments. Likewise, diabetes, another comorbid condition of TB, suppresses the human immune system and severely affects TB treatment outcomes.
Tobacco smoking significantly increases the risk of Tuberculosis (TB) infection, disease and mortality. The World Health Organization estimates that greater than 20% of the global burden of TB may be attributable to smoking.
Disease and poverty are affecting millions of lives in low income communities of Pakistan. Poor working conditions, unemployment, food insecurity, stress and illiteracy are some of the key social determinants of health that, if not improved, leave a severe impact on the lives of TB patients. If a patient’s surroundings lack socio-economic support systems, there is a decreased chance of attaining desired results during or after treatment.
Frontline Health Workers form the backbone of the health system in LMICs. They are the first contact for primary health care for millions of under served people, yet are burdened by archaic paper systems. Governments struggle to supervise this large workforce, ensure data quality and timeliness of reporting, guarantee appropriate and equitable care under low resource conditions. Time spent on paperwork undermines the quality and coverage of essential services.
endTB will provide access to new anti-TB drugs for more than 3,000 people and run clinical trials to identify safer and more effective treatments.
Research shows a unfortunate trend of young adolescent girls in low income populations being particularly vulnerable to Tuberculosis (TB) in Pakistan.
Mental Health is an overlooked and neglected part of healthcare. The Pakistani healthcare system is still struggling to provide primary and secondary healthcare causing mental health services to be pushed on the back burner. With rapid urbanization, disparity of health services and growing socio economic divide – the emphasis of mental health services becomes increasingly important.
IRD is seeking proposals for software vendors to develop eHealth and mHealth applications for its role in the USAID-funded Challenge TB project.
Interactive Research and Development South Africa (IRD SA) is a proud recipient of the TB Reach Wave 5 funding. IRD SA will be implementing a program focusing on identifying children under 5 with TB and people living with HIV. The program is titled “Accelerate and Strengthen the Pediatric, Neonatal and Perinatal cycle for TB and HIV Care and Improve Post-Exposure Management”.