In 2006, PIH-Russia launched its Sputnik Program. Centered in Tomsk, Russia, Sputnik focuses on home-based care for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) patients who would otherwise slip through the cracks. It is a unique and effective service that differs from the health care models traditionally found in Russia.

The program targets people who have difficulty adhering to the intensive treatment regimen needed to cure the disease. Factors that put these patients at high-risk of defaulting treatment include homelessness, poverty, alcohol and substance abuse, HIV, and previous incarceration.

PIH-R specially trains nurses who regularly visit patients in their homes to deliver the TB and MDR-TB drug regimes—which can take up to two years to complete. Beyond medicine, these nurses also offer various forms of social support, ranging from bringing patients meals to providing emotional support. This innovative model of care gives patients the individual attention they need to get better.

Before PIH introduce Sputnik, patient adherence rates in Tomsk were about 40 percent. Today over 90 percent of these hard to reach patients take their medications for the entirety of their treatment. In short, the Sputnik model of care has been incredibly successful.

The documentary was made possible with funding from the Lilly Foundation. English subtitles have been added for US audiences.

Learn more about PIH's work in Russia.