Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis: Improving the Standard of Care in Sierra Leone

Saio Kamara proudly holds a yellow, pocket-sized paper and with a smile tells those around her: “This is my TB certificate.”  

It’s more than just a piece of paper. It marks a major milestone: being cured of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). The document includes details, such as her diagnosis, treatment type, and, most importantly, her completion date: March 31, 2022. It’s a day she’ll never forget.

Landmark Clinical Trial Redefines Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis Treatment Options

Clinical trial results presented for the first time today at the Union World Conference on Lung Health revealed evidence to support the use of four new, improved regimens to treat multi-drug resistant tuberculosis or rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis (MDR/RR-TB). The team—led by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Partners In Health (PIH), and Interactive Research and Development (IRD) and funded by Unitaid—formed the endTB consortium and began this Phase III randomized controlled trial in 2017. 

PIH Gives Tuberculosis Patient Broad Support for Recovery

Before becoming ill, Kaizer Mahapa, 44, worked as a street vendor in Maseru, Lesotho, selling jewelry, snacks, and fruits at two roadside stalls; one uptown in Maseru and another in his own yard.

Mahapa, who grew up in rural Lesotho, was diagnosed with HIV in 2019. Two years later, he contracted tuberculosis.  He’d never attended school, instead cared for the family’s animals. Mahapa was living with his daughter when he fell ill.