Faculty Mentor

Dr. Linda J. Laatsch, Clinical Laboratory Science


Maribel Gamon is a senior double majoring in Biomedical Sciences and Spanish. She is part of the Educational Opportunity Program and is graduating in May 2014. Influenced by her trips with Global Medical and Environmental Brigades to Honduras and Panama, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in public health.



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Mycobacterium tuberculosis, commonly referred to as TB, is responsible for causing about 630,000 cases per year of infectious diseases worldwide. Recently, multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) has become an alarming public health concern. In addition, many developing countries lack effective treatment programs. India is one of those countries with a high prevalence of TB, seemingly affected by disconnectedness in their public health infrastructure. India, although a developing country, is still burdened with both chronic and infectious diseases, and there is a reactive public health system that must place focus on long-term effects of emerging resistant strains of TB. It is important to develop rapid drug susceptibility testing for quick diagnosis and treatment of monitored TB levels. According to a 2013 article published by Lancet, countries with well-run public health programs, supported by early diagnosis and access to quality drugs, have better treatment outcomes and compliance. Compliance must be maximized in developing countries to prevent the continuing emergence of MDR-TB. India’s public health infrastructure must be reshaped and empowered with implementation of treatment programs and surveillance frameworks similar to those seen in countries with low rates of MDR-TB levels. It is important that India strengthen their framework for combating MDR-TB, with emphasis on increasing health literacy among community leaders, informing government agencies of the necessity of research and surveillance, strengthening rapid TB diagnostic systems, and providing culturally-appropriate TB treatment programs. Using intervention strategies from other communities may help India develop an appropriate solution for decreasing the prevalence of MDR-TB.

Publication Date

Summer 2013


Clinical Epidemiology | Public Health

Maribel Gamon - Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis in India: Solving a Problem by Reconstructing the Public Health Infrastructure