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Cotton production in Karakalpakstan under Soviet rule has all but eradicated the Aral Sea as a result of a cotton growing irrigation scheme, with terrible consequences for the environment and in turn the people’s health. TB control in the region had collapsed almost entirely, which gave way to a fast emerging TB epidemic, including worryingly high levels of multi-drug resistant TB. Furthermore, Central Asia is the only area in the world, where HIV incidences are increasing.

I am working as a medical doctor for the ‘Comprehensive tuberculosis (TB) care for all’ project in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan (which started in May 2010). My main role is to address medical needs of patients with TB, including multi-drug resistant TB, and I am helping to establish a proper system of care in rural areas and help to train local staff in up-to-date approaches in TB care.

Emily Wise

Nationality: British
Country: Uzbekistan
Job: Doctor