Scientists in Tanzania close to discovering shorter doses of TB treatment

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TB meds

Tanzanian scientists are close to releasing a more user friendly and more effective shorter doses of tuberculosis (TB) treatment in their on-going clinical trials, reports Xinhua

East Africa’s leading medical research facility, Ifakara Health Institute (IHI), scientists said that the new treatment will help in reducing the number of patients who drop out of treatment because of the aversive and long-duration medications that last up to six months.

Tanzania researchers warned that patients who stop their TB treatment are the reason to the increasing numbers of drug resistance cases in the country and the increased transmission rates of the disease.

Patients in Tanzania suffering from TB endure the pains of long term medications until they are recovered but the new dosage is mostly likely going to bring the dosage to less that three months.

In the next four to five years, the mode of treatment for TB would enter a new era in Tanzania and the world at large… currently IHI is collaborating with the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development in a drug trial which will help come up with a drug combination known as bedaquilline, pretonamid and pyrazinamide” said Paul Smithson, IHI chief knowledge officer to Xinhua

According to Smithson, the new unique combination of drugs in trial have reached phase II, will be able to tackle both drug-resistant tuberculosis and non-resistant tuberculosis.

IHI Director, Salim Abdullah, said IHI has been conducting surveillance studies on TB in rural and urban areas of the East African nation for the past ten years. He added that the institute will be testing another new TB combination of drugs in a phase III clinical trial.

If the new combinations of the drugs known as moxiflocacin, pretonamid and pyrazinamide were successful, an important step would have been taken in efforts to produce less aversive but more effective medications for TB patients in Tanzania, according to the team leader at IHI, Thomas Zoller.

Studies show one person with TB can infect 10 to 15 people in a year; experts explain that those patients that remain half-treated will spread the disease in their communities.

Tanzania is the sixth country with highest TB burden in Africa on World Health Organization’s scales, recording 63,000 cases of TB yearly in the last five years.

 

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