Marcela Tommasi, MD
Senior PMDT Consultant
Marcela Tommasi is a Senior Consultant for Programmatic Management of Drug-resistant TB (PMDT). She is a specialist in infectious diseases (Argentina, 2002) with over 14 years of clinical experience in 9 different developing countries.
In the past five years, Marcela Tommasi worked in Swaziland and Mozambique in the TB field, providing clinical care to patients with drug-susceptible TB and drug-resistant TB. She was involved in patients’ support groups, childhood TB diagnosis and care, implementation the One-Stop HIV-TB model of care and capacity building of the staff.
Her main areas of interest are patient-centered approaches, quality of care, trainings (including on job training), and childhood TB.
At KNCV Marcela Tommasi provides technical support to country TB programs in Africa, with special focus on the introduction of New Drugs and Regimens for Drug-resistant TB treatment.
Marcela Tommasi came to KNCV directly ‘from the field’: for the past three years and half she worked in Mozambique as Medical Activity Manager on TB and drug-resistant TB projects for the Operational Center Geneva of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF OGC) in Switzerland. Marcela is an infectious diseases specialist from Argentina with 14 years of clinical experience in Latin America, Africa and Europe.
Marcela Tommasi: “I really enjoyed my work in Mozambique; I was working directly with patients and with nurses, I organized TB/drug-resistant TB care in five centers, integrating TB and HIV (“One-Stop TB/HIV”) care. I was not really seeking to leave Mozambique, but when I heard about the PMDT specialist vacancy with KNCV I was soon very enthusiastic – particularly about implementation of New Drugs and Regimens (ND&R).”
Last month, Marcela traveled to Nigeria with fellow KNCV Senior Consultant Gunta Dravniece to advise on the development of a national road map and adapting clinical guidelines for introducing ND&R for the treatment of drug-resistant TB.
“Fortunately, the Nigerian government and the state governments welcome the introduction of new TB drugs and regimens. In Nigeria, the new drugs are considered a positive challenge”, she said on her return.
In her follow-up visit to Nigeria, Marcela will provide further support at the sites of implementation once the drugs for ND&R arrive (including capacity building of the staff, on-the-job training, and patient support).