Multi-drug Resistant Tuberculosis

Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) remains a major problem in Himachal Pradesh, but one unaddressed by the government healthcare system. Bhagwati, 47 and her husband Balam Kundan, 52 are two sufferers of this condition. The couple is childless and have some land in Bandrol, Kullu where they live off subsistence farming. Despite having been prescribed pulmonary TB medication from the Kullu government hospital in September 2007 and March 2008 respectively, and taking this medication regularly, they continue to suffer from the disease. After they came to Lady Willingdon Hospital on the 26th of June they have now been prescribed MDR-TB medication and the Hospital is trying to raise money for further treatment, both from the panchayat (local village governance system) and from external donations. One of the initiatives of the Manali Project this year is to provide funds for the medicines required to treat this condition. Contributions to this treatment program are highly valued; as many as three to four new patients like Bhagwati and Balam Kundan are put on these medications every month.