Cristina Celan, the Project Manager of the PAS Center, spoke about the experience of Moldova in the context of measures to ensure continuity of services for people with TB, as part of a round table organized by the Global Fund.
She noted that the National Tuberculosis Control Program in Moldova has developed a number of operational instructions for NGOs working in the field of tuberculosis. The instructions were quickly implemented and are used in the activity of organizations.
She also talked about the introduction of the special #ILikeVOT application for monitoring the treatment of TB patients.
The application is a new digital method for monitoring the treatment of tuberculosis patients at home, as well as an innovation in the field of medicine in the Republic of Moldova. It was created last year, but right now, when the pandemic created compelled demands to maintain social distance, it became necessary as never before.
“The World Health Organization recommends the video observed treatment (VOT) as an effective tuberculosis treatment that focuses on the needs of people with TB,” said Cristina Celan. - The platform consists of two components: a free mobile application that the patient uses to record on the video while taking the medicine and a website that the doctors use. The patient’s videos are saved in the system, and the doctor monitors the regularity of patient treatment.”
By using the #ILIKEVOT application, the patient no longer needs to go to the TB care room every day to take pills.
The patient receives the necessary medicines for a period of 2 weeks, as well as detailed instructions for taking the medicines.
Another advantage of the application is that neither the patient nor the doctor should log into the applications at the same time.
“Video is recorded and transmitted when the patient has access to the Internet. It is also convenient for the doctors; they do not have to connect to the video casting at a specific time. The doctor can view the patient’s video at any convenient time and then confirm the treatment intake.”
The first institution to conduct pilot testing of the application was the Territorial Medical Association (TMA) Buiucani from Chisinau. Already 27 patients have switched to this form of treatment.
As another measure to ensure continuity of service delivery for TB patients is Moldova, DOT at home was organized for patients from Chisinau, Balti, Edinet, Floresti, Stefan Voda and other districts.
It should be noted that the focus of the online event was to review the response to HIV and tuberculosis during COVID-19 in order to strengthen the participation of civil society and communities in the EECA region.