Fresnel was nine years old when he was diagnosed with MDR-TB. His father, his uncle and two of his brothers had already been diagnosed and they were all given the shortened treatment regimen that, at the time, was part of an observational study led by The Union in nine countries in francophone Africa.
While Fresnel did not officially participate in the study as his age made him ineligible, he was given the same nine-month treatment as the others.
The shortened regimen for MDR-TB was adopted earlier in Benin than in many other countries, which enabled the Benin NTP to provide MDR-TB treatment to everyone – including Fresnel and his family. Prior to developing this regimen, the country was unable to treat MDR-TB as the 20-24-month treatment was too costly and the medicines too difficult to procure.
Fresnel, photographed here at age 13, is cured of MDR-TB, is healthy and has returned to school. His brothers, father and uncle are also cured.