Plan underway to implement pilot research for MDR-TB in 2015: MOH

Officials of Ministry of Health and 3MDG at exchanging notes for US$11.5 million agreement. Photo: 3MDG
Officials of Ministry of Health and 3MDG at exchanging notes for US$11.5 million agreement. Photo: 3MDG

Nay Pyi Taw, 14 Oct  The Ministry of Health (MOH) is planning to implement a pilot research project for a shorter course regimen (lasting only 10 months) with 200 patients diagnosed with multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) with the assistance of the three Millennium Development Funds (MDF), Dr Tin Mi Mi Khaing from the Aung San TB Hospital in Yangon, told the Global New Light of Myanmar.
The MDR-TB programme using short regimens is scheduled to start in May, 2015, following international standards and under independent monitoring by the World Health Organization (WHO), she added.
The shorter drug therapy is a popular treatment among the countries. It, if successful, would significantly reduce time on treatment as compared to the current 20-month regimen, according to the 3MDG.
The 3MDG signed a US$11.5 million agreement with the ministry this week to treat about 2,000 patients with MDR-TB in 56 townships in Yangon and Mandalay regions to provide support in national responses for TB, the agency said.
The number of people with drug-resistant strains of TB is growing at an alarming rate. According to the WHO survey, Myanmar is one of the highest burdens of Tuberculosis across the world with, an estimated 180,000 new cases of TB every year, more than 40,000 of them in children. It is estimated that over 20,000 people die from TB each year when about 9,000 people diagnose with multi-drug resistant TB.
To fight against multi-drug resistant TB, the 3MDG will provide essential assistance including both construction and renovation of MDR-TB wards to support infection control in public health and prison health facilities, said the agency.

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