Available at GCIS provincial offices, GCIS district offices & Thusong centres in your area!

Plans to change TB treatment

The introduction of Bedaquiline means South Africa is the first country in the world to dispense this type of treatment.

Patients with Multidrug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) will now be able to receive life changing treatment as the Department of Health begins its roll-out of Bedaquiline.

According to the department’s drug resistant TB director Norbert Ndjeka, Bedaquiline will replace the old system which makes use of injections to administer MDR-TB treatment.

“This means that for the first time, an injection-free regimen will be recommended for all patients with Rifampicin Resistant Tuberculosis in South Africa. Additionally, patients with MDR-TB will now also receive Bedaquiline as part of a more patient friendly short regimen, which is expected to improve adherence and ensure success,” he said.

The introduction of Bedaquiline means South Africa is the first country in the world to dispense this type of treatment.

The department says Bedaquiline has been hailed for its effective treatment and short turnaround time.

“Treating patients with drug resistant TB was difficult with old medicines, which had many negative side effects and over long periods often up to 24 months.”

In addition, the treatment is known for reducing the number of deaths and having fewer side effects in comparison to its injectable counterpart, which could result in hearing loss for some MDR-TB patients.

“We started the roll-out with facilities that are ready to implement. This will be done in a phase by phase approach. We will then assist and capacitate those provinces that need assistance,” said Ndjeka.  

It is anticipated that roll-out across the country will be concluded between the next three to six months.   

www.sanews.gov.za

 

 

Page Number: 
6