Columnist Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times wrote a column about the spread of tuberculosis in Armenia and around the world:
As if you didn’t have enough to worry about … consider the deadly, infectious and highly portable disease sitting in the lungs of a charming young man here, Garik Hakobyan. In effect, he’s a time bomb.
Mr. Hakobyan, 34, an artist, carries an ailment that stars in the nightmares of public health experts — XDR-TB, the scariest form of tuberculosis. It doesn’t respond to conventional treatments and is often incurable.
When doctors here in Armenia said they would introduce me to XDR patients, I figured we would all be swathed in protective clothing and chat in muffled voices in a secure ward of a hospital. Instead, they simply led me outside to a public park, where Mr. Hakobyan sat on a bench with me.
And here is an interesting fact:
In Armenia, the only program for drug-resistant TB, overseen by Doctors Without Borders, can accept only 15 percent of the patients who need it. And the drugs often are unable to help them.
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