Program aims to reduce deaths from drug-resistant TB

Project Manager Dr Khin Swe Win speaks about a project to treat patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis in suburban townships of Yangon.
Project Manager Dr Khin Swe Win speaks about a project to treat patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis in suburban townships of Yangon.

The Myanmar Medical Association has begun a community-based treatment programme for patients with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in suburban townships of Yangon, Dr Khin Swe Win of the MMA said Wednesday.
“The project is aim at reducing MDR-TB incidence and mortality in the region,” she said.
The MMA in partnership with the Ministry of Health is implementing the project funded by the Three Millennium Development Goal Fund in Thakayta, Kawhmu, Dala, Kyauktan and Hmawby townships where there are significant numbers of MDR-TB patients.
The project partners will train volunteers from those townships to carry out door-to-door treatment, including education on TB, using mobile devices.
“The use of mobile devices is to capture the attention of the patients,” Dr Khin Swe Win said.
Currently, the MMA in cooperation with the National TB Program has implemented a USAID-funded TB project in South Okkalapa, Thingangyun and Thanlyin townships in Yangon and Chanmyathazi in Mandalay.
“The project launched in 2013 and has achieved successes to a certain degree,” project manager Dr Khin Swe Win said. More than 70 MDR-TB patients have received nutritional and financial support every month.
“TB cases are reported mostly on the outskirts of urban areas,” a TB medical specialist said at a recent ceremony to mark World TB Day. “The outbreaks are linked to living standards. A decline in poverty rate may reduce the outbreak of the disease.”
According to the WHO report, there are 500,000 people with MDR-TB around the world. In Myanmar, it is found that about 5 per cent of new TB patients have MDR-TB. Myanmar is one of the 27 high MDR TB burden countries worldwide.

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