New tuberculosis treatment plan approved by WHO

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A new tuberculosis treatment plan has been approved by the World Health Organization. Upon full implementation the new tuberculosis treatment plan is expected to cut on the cost and time of treatment for the drug resistant disease by half. The new plan made of tablets and injections — will last between nine and 12 months as opposed to the the current 18 to 24 months.

According to Enos Masini, who is the chairman of Kenya’s National Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Lung Disease programme, the drugs go for $1,000 per patient for the whole treatment, which is way cheaper and affordable than some current treatments that can cost as much as $15,000.

At the present, some patients take as many as eight tablets daily in addition to an injection every day.

The Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is highly resistant to the two most potent and available drugs used in the treatment of the disease. Drug-susceptible tuberculosis usually takes a period of up to six months to treat completely, but MDR-TB can take as far as two years to completely treat with pills and injections and the drug also causes horrendous side effects such as deafness, psychosis and liver toxicity.

The 2015 World Health Organisation Tuberculosis Report indicates that of all the MDR-TB patients only 48 per cent are able to survive globally every year. The report further indicates that 39.5 per cent of the people who contracted this type of tuberculosis passed away.

The World Health Organization recently tested a standardised treatment regimen in 14 nations that included Burundi and Rwanda.

Based on the success of the research findings, the global health organization revised its treatment guidelines for drug-resistant TB in the month of May 2016 so as to include a recommendation on the use of the new tuberculosis treatment plan under specific conditions.

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