FG introduces shorter regimen for multi-drug-resistant TB

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Professor Isaac Adewole
Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole

The Federal Government has introduced a new shorter regimen for multi-drug-resistant (MDR) Tuberculosis (TB) treatment in Nigeria.

This is contained in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja by Mrs Akinola Boade, Director, Media and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Health.

The statement quoted the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, as saying this at the commissioning of the first extensive drug-resistant TB ward at the Chest Hospital, Jericho in Ibadan on Monday.

Adewole said that the new regimen will reduce the time taken to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis patients from about 20 months to about nine months.

The minister advised all TB sufferers to present themselves at the nearest federal government health facility for treatment free of charge.

“With the new drug regimen we can improve our chances of achieving cure even with drug resistant TB.

“Previously, when we treat people with drug-resistant TB the drug regimen will last for as long as 20 months, and this is one of the challenges.

“What we are flagging off today is a new regimen that has been accepted worldwide.

“We will be able to reduce the period of treatment from about 20 months to between nine and 11 months,’’ he added.

The minister pledged government’s commitment to increasing funding for TB control, noting that it is one of the priority areas of the current administration.

Adewole challenged the National Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Control Programme as well as the partners present to accelerate case finding and collaborate to double the amount of cases found in Nigeria.

“It is not the number of cases of TB that should bother us, but the fact that we are only able to detect about one out of six of the cases of TB in Nigeria,” he said.

According to Adewole, since TB is treatable, once cases are found and treated, it will encourage others to present themselves for treatment and this will help in stopping TB in Nigeria.

The post FG introduces shorter regimen for multi-drug-resistant TB appeared first on Tribune.

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