Multi Drug-Resistant TB (MDR-TB) is resistance to at least 2 of the main first line drugs. It is on the rise. Bacteria become resistant to drugs for a number of reasons. Medication may not be taken correctly, or patients may stop taking medication as soon as the symptoms disappear but before the course is finished. MDR-TB is also then transmitted to others, which exacerbates the problem.
The WHO has stressed the importance of the DOTS strategy to ensure patients complete their course of treatment and avoid further spread of the disease.
Of even greater concern is the emergence of XDR-TB (extensive drug-resistant TB), which is MDR-TB with additional resistance to 3 or more of the second-line treatments.
Faustino was treated at the Klibur Domin centre in Timor-Leste – the only clinic in the whole country that can help people with MDR-TB.