Tuberculosis FG introduces shorter regimen for multi-drug-resistant treatment

The Minister of Health said the new regimen will reduce the time taken to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis patients from about 20 months to about nine months.

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Professor Isaac Adewole, Nigeria's Health Minister play

Professor Isaac Adewole, Nigeria's Health Minister

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

The Director, Media and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs Akinola Boade, disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, July 4.

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.

He said, "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."

The minister assured that government is committed to increasing funding for TB control, adding 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.

He stated that 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. 

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