Romania is the EU country with the highest incidence of tuberculosis, with more than 15.000 new cases a year. The main challenge is inadequate follow-up of tuberculosis patients and poor treatment results for resistant tuberculosis. Every year, around 800 new cases of resistant tuberculosis occur, but only about 60 per cent of the cases are diagnosed.
Patients with MDR-tuberculosis have a long treatment in front of them. Mona Drage from LHL International visits the tuberculosis hospital in Floresti.
Of the patients who receive treatment for multiresistant tuberculosis through the national tuberculosis programme, close to 40 per cent get well. In order to improve this situation, it is important to institute rapid testing of resistance, ensure that all recommended medicines are available and follow up patients in a good, comprehensive manner.
Partners in Romania
The work of LHL International in Romania is related to a specific project connected to the Romanian tuberculosis programme. We have three partners in this work:
The Marius Nasta Institute was established in 1906 as the first tuberculosis hospital in Romania. Today the hospital is still the country’s most important medical and research institution in lung diseases and tuberculosis. Since 1997, the Institute has also had the role of coordinator of the national tuberculosis programme.
The Romanian Angel Appeal Foundation (RAA) was established in 1991. The purpose is to strengthen the development of preventive medical treatment, as well as social and psychological support for people who are afflicted with chronic diseases, with a particular focus on vulnerable groups who risk discrimination and social exclusion.
The Association for Supporting MDR-TB Patients (ASPTMR) was established in 2011 by patients with resistant tuberculosis in order to meet the patients’ health, social and psychological needs. ASPTMR has become an important and recognised donor in the field of tuberculosis in Romania. Since 2013 they have received funds from The Global Fund to undertake peer support work and psycho-social support for patients with resistant tuberculosis to ensure that they complete the entire course of treatment.
The project is supported by the Norwegian authorities and was carried out during the period from February 2015 to April 2017.
Our work in Romania
Tuberculosis control and information work: LHL International’s work in Romania is a part of the Norwegian authorities’ support to the Romanian tuberculosis programme through EEA grants / Norwegian Financial Mechanisms Public Health Initiatives: Improving the health status of the population in Romania by increasing tuberculosis control.
The project is coordinated by the Marius Nasta Institute, and LHL International has the main responsibility regarding ensuring that patients, vulnerable groups and the population in general have knowledge about tuberculosis.
Goals and results in Romania
The goal of our work in Romania is to increase knowledge about tuberculosis, especially among patients and other vulnerable groups. We develop information materials adapted to the target group and give health care personnel training in how the information material can be used in communication with patients.