Last weekend, we baked in the sun within the inner walls of the city of Khiva- an ancient city on the silk route. On our return journey, bumping along the road through the desert, the wind picked up, the sky darkened and the season changed.
It’s the season of visitors for the Nukus project. As the longest and largest running MDR project within MSF, some come to learn, others come to advise and new expats arrive to embark on their mission. It’s been a week of debate about the future of this project: how to expand into other areas while leaving our current location -the central referral point for TB patients. Next week is annual planning week, and there are many decisions to be made.
It’s been a busy time for the epi team. Last week was reporting time, by Monday our database was fully up to date- details of newly admitted patients, changes in treatment regimens of existing patients, doses of each observed drug, and all laboratory results were entered. There were three reports to be prepared; the monthly report for MSF, a report for the ministry of health and the third for the ministry of justice. Since 2003, 1395 patients with drug resistant tuberculosis have started treatment in this project, with 440 still on treatment. The aim is to provide comprehensive TB care for the whole of Karakalpakstan by 2014, so these numbers are set to increase substantially in the near future. The epi department’s challenge will be to keep track of all these patients’ vital details in order to monitor the program.
With the sudden arrival of the cold weather, the short sleeves were replaced overnight with wooly jumpers and coats. There was a noticeable drop in gas pressure at home, as many people at home have now switched on their heating systems. At work everywhere in Uzbekistan, everyone eagerly awaits the magic date: 15th October. It is on this date we are officially allowed to turn on the heating systems. Even the gas company will be instructed to turn up the gas pressure and winter will start!