NPR Series Examines How Russian Prisons Treat Drug-Resistant TB Among Inmates

In its continuing series on drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB), NPR’s “Shots” blog and “Morning Edition” examine how the Russian prison system has teamed up with the non-profit Partners In Health to fight the disease among inmates. As part of the partnership, the Siberian facility called Medical and Penal Institution Number One is “making progress against drug-resistant TB,” as “[t]he rate of infection has dropped seven-fold, and the death rate has fallen to single digits, Alexander Leshchyov, the deputy warden, says,” the blog writes. The story describes inmate Igor Davydenko’s progress, after being treated for TB three times. “The key to curing TB in prisoners is getting each patient to take responsibility for his own health, Warden Leshchyov says,” the blog writes, adding, “The experience of being treated for the disease can have a positive effect on an inmate’s rehabilitation, Leshchyov says.” According to “Shots,” prison officials “say that inmate patients, who’ve received the full spectrum of treatment, have a much better chance, not only of recovering their health, but of recovering a productive place in society” (Flintoff, 7/9).