The movement of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis across borders in East Africa needs a regional and global solution

Author/s: Cain KP, Marano N, Kamene M, Sitienei J, Mukherjee S, Galev A, Burton J, Nasibov O, Kioko J, De Cock KM
Language: English
Publication Type: Scientific Report (Journal)(External)

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Summary Points
• Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) and other deadly infectious diseases commonly occur in states suffering from political turmoil and armed conflict.
• The same conditions that promote MDR TB and other diseases often diminish the capacity of the public health system to address these needs, leading patients to seek care in other countries.
• In East Africa, a large number of patients from Somalia with MDR TB crossed the border to Kenya seeking treatment. While the diagnostic capacity for MDR TB exists in Somalia, treatment capacity does not. 
• Identification and management of such diseases need to be a priority for countries in the region both for humanitarian purposes and for the protection of their own residents. Often diseases will need to be diagnosed and treated outside of the country in which they are occurring.
• The solutions must be regional and global. Control of infectious diseases, such as MDR TB, must be focused at its source to be successful. Its control cannot depend on the existing capacity of the country in which it happens to occur.


Region/Country (by coverage)
PLOS Medicine