On August 3, 2011, El Comercio, the largest newspaper in Peru’s capital city of Lima, published an in-depth story about Socios En Salud’s ongoing multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) research project, called the EPI project.

The yearlong study is spread among 124 heath centers, and involves 4,000 patients, 20,000 contacts and hundreds of staff. In partnership with Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, SES’s project is one of the world’s largest MDR-TB research initiatives.

“It has taken many years and much investment by many, and it really represents so much of what PIH’s work has been about and what is possible by our transnational team,” says project researcher Dr. Mercedes Becerra, associate professor of social medicine at Harvard Medical School. “This project has been possible by building on our deep roots in one place over time, identifying a priority medical problem for poor patients there, building close technical collaborations with the public health services at all levels, bringing to bear a systematic approach to answering an important research question, finding and administering the funds, , and recruiting a world-class local team that is more skilled every day.”

“I am just exceedingly proud to be part of this team and to witness the energy and enthusiasm the local team is investing,” continues Dr. Becerra. “I hope we can continue to build on this experience to work on improving access to effective TB treatment in Lima and beyond.”



Researcher Leonid Lecca states this is the largest TB study ever conducted anywhere in the world, with $6 million in funding.

Socios En Salud Perú, an affiliate of the highly regarded medical organization Partners In Health, has for a year been conducting an ambitious study that aims to determine precisely how tuberculosis is transmitted. Although it is well-established that overcrowding and poor diet contribute to TB transmission, particularly in poor neighborhoods, the study “Epidemiology of Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Peru (The EPI Project) examines a broader question and seeks to ascertain why some people have greater resistance to infection than others. 

Read the article in its entirety (Spanish version).
For an English translation, click here.