Intended for healthcare professionals

Opinion

Drug resistant tuberculosis in Afghanistan: We must continue to put people at the centre of treatment

BMJ 2022; 376 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o46 (Published 10 January 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;376:o46
  1. Anita Mesic, MSF TB, HIV, and hepatitis adviser

In recent years, MSF has been able to improve patients' experiences of care for drug resistant tuberculosis, but the changing political situation threatens to derail this progress, writes Anita Mesic

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Please give generously to The BMJ’s appeal for 2021-22. Donations can be made at

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The 2021-22 appeal is being generously supported by the Green Room Charitable Trust. Up to £50 000 in funding has been made available to match donations received before 31 January 2022. This means that your support will go even further.

The Afghan Crisis Appeal will fund MSF’s work in Afghanistan, as well as supporting its work in neighbouring countries.

On my last visit to MSF’s tuberculosis (TB) hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan, I watched as a young girl writhed in agony, her short life being snuffed out by TB-meningitis. She had arrived at an advanced stage and there was little we could do, other than make her last moments more comfortable.

Down the hallway, an older man was preparing to leave. Over the course of his care for drug resistant TB (DR-TB), he’d grown stronger. I remember how proud he was to finally finish treatment.

Two patients with two very different outcomes. One highlighted the challenges that the people of Afghanistan—especially when female—face …

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