Cover of MDR-TB training folder
Folder userd for MDR-TB training of Latin American nurses

With more than a decade on the frontlines against MDR-TB, PIH's partner organization in Peru, Socios En Salud (SES), has earned global recognition both for innovating effective, community-based treatment for the disease and for training other health professionals how to do it. In recent months they have redoubled their training activities, sending teams to Haiti and Africa and collaborating with the Peruvian Ministry of Health to offer training for nurses from throughout Latin America.
In December, as SES was marking its tenth anniversary, a team of two nurses, a doctor, and a translator traveled to Haiti at the request of their colleagues at Zanmi Lasante (ZL). Over the course of four days, they trained 25 doctors and nurses, both from the Ministry of Health and ZL, in delivery of integrated, community-based care for MD-TB patients. At the end of an intensive round of lectures, role playing, interactive discussions, field visits and videos, almost 100 percent of the participants said they now felt equipped to manage treatment of an MDR-TB patient.

The overwhelming success of the training inspired the PIH Lesotho team to invite SES to train local doctors, nurses and community health workers in treating the disease. PIH Lesotho has encountered extremely high rates of TB in HIV patients, and has asked for SES’s guidance in handling the outbreak. The Peruvian team plans to visit Lesotho for three weeks this spring.

Dr. Jaime Bayona, SES’s founding director has also been on the road recently. In late March, he returned from Zambia, where the Ministry of Health had asked him to share his expertise in directing large scale community-based MDR-TB treatment projects. He helped them prepare an application for funding to expand their MDR-TB program from the Green Light Committee, which is responsible for determining whether projects comply with guidelines to receive the second-line drugs needed to treat MDR-TB.

While they are traveling to train health professionals abroad, the SES team continues to offer trainings in Lima to Ministry of Health staff as well as other Latin American doctors and nurses. With financial support from the Global Fund, they hosted a group of nurses from several Latin American countries in March. The nurses have been trained in MDR-TB management, and will now be able to share that knowledge with colleagues in their home countries.

Danos una mano posterSES is also still at the forefront of MDR-TB advocacy efforts. In Lima, they are making World TB Day the climax of a month-long campaign to mobilize awareness and involvement in the fight against TB. Activities include an exhibit of 41 photos of current and former patients and of SES's work entitled “Danos una mano, hagamos que la TB sea sólo fotografías” (Give us a hand, let’s make TB exist only in photos). The exhibition, presented in the district of Miraflores, and will help raise awareness, as well as local funds for SES’s work.

In addition, SES is participating in multiple World TB day events on March 23 and 24. Organizations working with TB and MDR-TB from across Peru will gather in Lima to call attention to the progress that has been made in fighting the disease, as well as the need to continue our efforts to improve diagnosis and treatment. SES will distribute educational materials about their work as well as information about how to become more involved in the struggle against TB. Two professional mimes will help SES attract a

[published March 2007]