US brings new shorter treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK (TCA) — On October 26, the National Tuberculosis Center in Kyrgyzstan confirmed that the first six people completed a new, shorter treatment regimen for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (TB). The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is working with local partners to bring this new regimen, recommended by the World Health Organization, to all TB patients in the Kyrgyz Republic, the US Embassy in Kyrgyzstan said.

The new treatment takes less than half the time of the standard treatment, has fewer side effects, and is as effective on modern multidrug-resistant varieties of the disease. This is a major step forward in the fight against TB.

Since the introduction of the shorter regimens in January 2017, 92 people from the Bishkek and Chui oblasts have started this treatment. They are reporting fewer side effects than those on the standard treatment, and are recovering faster.

Kyrgyzstan is one of 30 countries with the highest level of multidrug-resistant TB globally. Annually, around 1,400 Kyrgyzstanis fall ill with multi-drug resistant TB, which is resistant to the two most powerful and effective drugs normally used to treat TB.

The Ministry of Health plans to expand the new treatment regimen across the entire country by the end of 2017. Hundreds more people with multi-drug resistant TB will be enrolled on the new regimen. The USAID Challenge TB project has been strongly supporting this expansion by training over 1,000 doctors and will continue to support this process over the next two years.

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Times of Central Asia