With the theme of ‘It’s time to end TB’, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a new guideline to improve the treatment of multidrug resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB). In it, WHO recommends shifting to fully oral regime to treat people with MDR-TB as the new treatment course is more effective and is less likely to provoke adverse side effects. In the previous regime, effects such as psychiatric disorder, hypothyroidism, nephrotoxicity, epileptic seizures and ototoxicity has made treating MDR-TB very difficult. WHO also recommends backing up treatment with active monitoring of drug safety and providing counselling support to help patients complete their course of treatment.
Since 2000, 54 million lives have been saved and TB deaths fell by one third, but 10 million people still fall ill with TB each year, with too many missing out on vital care. Today, TB is the world’s top infectious disease killer, claiming 4 500 lives each day and around the world, with an annual deaths of more than 1.5 million people. The heaviest burden is carried by communities facing socio-economic challenges, those working and living in high-risk settings, the poorest and marginalized.
The new recommendation serves as a translation of the commitments made at the 2018 UN High Level Meeting on TB into actions that ensure everyone who needs TB care can get it, and a part of the larger package of actions designed to help countries increase the pace of progress to end TB. Key elements of this package include:
- An accountability framework to coordinate actions across sectors and to monitor and review progress
- A dashboard to help countries know more about their own epidemics through real-time monitoring – by moving to electronic TB surveillance systems.
- A guide for effective prioritization of planning and implementation of impactful TB interventions based on analyses of patient pathways in accessing care.
- New WHO guidelines on infection control and preventive treatment for latent TB infection
- A civil society task force to ensure effective and meaningful civil society engagement
On March 22nd, key partners will come together at a World TB Day symposium at WHO in Geneva to develop a collaborative multi-stakeholder and multisectoral platform to accelerate actions to end TB and that WHO will present the new package at the meeting.
In Malaysia, recorded number of death due to Tuberculosis has been higher than what WHO previously estimated. According to the Director of Institut Perubatan Resiratori (IPR) Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL), Dr. Nurhayati Mohd. Marzuki , as of 2017, there were 26 168 active Tuberculosis cases with 2098 mortality. As of August 2018, 16 422 cases of Tuberculosis has been recorded with Sabah recording the highest cases in Malaysia.
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Review Date: March 22, 2019 | Last Modified: September 12, 2019