International Conference Addresses Drug-Resistant TB Epidemic Ravaging Russia

E. Glick, x 221 or Tony Russo at x202.

The Public Health Research Institute directs a $12.3 million program, funded by Mr. George Soros, to combat emerging infectious diseases in Russia with a special emphasis on TB. The PHRI/Soros project has several pilot civilian programs in the regions of Tomsk, Ivanovo and Marii El, as well as prison programs in Tomsk, Ivanovo, Marii El, Nizhniy Novgorod and Vladimir. PHRI, based in New York City, has an office in Moscow to help coordinate these programs.

The TB epidemic stems from stretched resources, poor understanding of the risks associated with the disease and from decades of refusal to adopt the WHO standard of TB therapy used successfully around the world to contain, treat and cure TB patients. Already, one in 10 of the 1.5 million prisoners in the penal system has active TB and at least 12 percent have MDR-TB. In some prisons such as Colony No. 33 in Mariinsk of the Kemerovo region, the MDR-TB rate has reached 40 percent--the worst incidence rate of MDR TB ever recorded.


Contact: Ernie W. Knewitz
(212) 696-4455 x204
Noonan/Russo Communications

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