New tuberculosis treatment to cut pill intake significantly

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Feb 03, 2021, 09:06 PM(IST)

A doctor checks the chest X-ray of a patient in the tuberculosis (TB) department of the government-run Osmania General Hospital in Hyderabad on October 30, 2019. Scientists said October 29 they are closing in on a vaccine for tuberculosis, the world's dea Photograph:( AFP )

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A new treatment for tuberculosis which ably cuts costs and dependence on pills for patients will be rolled out in five countries in 2021

A new treatment for tuberculosis which ably cuts costs and dependence on pills for patients will be rolled out in five countries in 2021.

International medical research body the Aurum Institute on Wednesday announced the treatment will be deployed in countries with high incidences of TB.

TB is a respiratory disease which kills more than 1.4 million people each year. It is preventable and treatable, but also grossly underfunded. TB is the world's deadliest infectious disease, with all attempts to control the spread of TB hampered by restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Enough treatments for up to three million patients are expected to be made available for eligible countries this year," Aurum's statement said.\

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The new two-drug regime will be able to reduce the intake of pills for patients, taking it from nine pills to three.

Dr Tereza Kasaeva of the World Health Organization's global tuberculosis programme director said that this would enable improved adherence and outcomes.

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The first five countries which will receive the treatment are Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. Soon after, other countries will follow suit.

Gavin Churchyard, the CEO of Aurum Institute said that the new regime along with the reduction of price would help them eradicate TB by 2030.

"We lose in the end if Covid-19 mortality goes down, but TB rates go up," he warned.

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