Representatives from the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership – the charitable arm of the Lilly Fund – travelled to Russia this May to gain an accurate picture of the country’s fight against tuberculosis (TB) and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).
The group, joined by nonprofit strategy firm Social Impact Consultants (SIC), observed various TB and MDR-TB programs and met with staff from the Russian Red Cross, Global Business Coalition, Partners In Health, and the World Health Organization.
The delegation’s goal: analyze existing activities and develop a strategy for future Lilly-supported TB and MDR-TB projects.
Before extending funding to new and existing projects, the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership is evaluating existing Lilly-supported programs and developing a single policy that can be expanded to other countries and regions.
The delegation began the series of meetings by asking to hear about problems in regional TB programs and potential solutions.
“We would like to know the results that were reached in implementing TB programs but it is also important to learn what challenges they face in their activity,” says David Zapol, FSG Senior Consultant. “This helps us understand what approaches to use to develop new strategies.”
Once problems had been discussed, the delegation visited a successful TB/MDR-TB program – the PIH-supported program in Tomsk Oblast, a landlocked region in Russia’s southeastern West Siberian Plain, where PIH-Russia has been working with the local government since 1998.
During the two-day visit, the delegation met with staff at the Tomsk TB Dispensary, where patients receive outpatient care, and at the region’s inpatient TB Hospital. The trip also included meetings at Tomsk Prison’s TB hospital.
PIH and Tomsk’s Tuberculosis Services staff outlined the region-wide strategy aimed at containing and controlling TB – one that has resulted in incredibly high treatment rates.
With funding and support from the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership, this model has been expanded to five other Russian oblasts.
Russia is one of the four countries – the others being China, India and South Africa – where the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership provides support to public health programs and activities.