Drug re­sis­tant TB pa­tients get al­lowances

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Nqobile Tshili Chron­i­cle Cor­re­spon­dent

DRUG re­sis­tant tu­ber­cu­lo­sis (TB) pa­tients are be­ing given an al­lowance of $25 to en­cour­age them to con­tinue tak­ing their med­i­ca­tion over two years.

Speak­ing on the side­lines of a TB fund­ing ad­vo­cacy work­shop at­tended by mem­bers of the Par­lia­men­tary Port­fo­lio Com­mit­tee Health and Child Care in Bu­l­awayo yes­ter­day, Dr Kelvin Charam­bira, an of­fi­cer at the lo­cal of­fice of the In­ter­na­tional Union Against Tu­ber­cu­lo­sis and Lung Dis­eases, said his of­fice was con­cerned with the num­ber of pa­tients who de­fault on their med­i­ca­tion.

He said drug re­sis­tant TB drugs are ad­min­is­tered daily for two years which proved dif­fi­cult to ad­here to for some pa­tients. “It’s ba­si­cally try­ing to in­cen­tivise them to come for treat­ment, they use it for bus fares when they come for monthly re­views. Ide­ally ev­ery drug re­sis­tant TB pa­tient is sup­posed to get the money but you then get chal­lenges where some pa­tients might not be reg­is­tered,” Dr Charam­bira said.

He said the funds for the pa­tients are sourced from the Global Fund.

Dr Charam­bira said TB drugs in­crease a pa­tient’s ap­petite re­sult­ing in most of them de­fault­ing due to hunger.

“In the man­age­ment of drug re­sis­tant TB, we use a com­bi­na­tion of dif­fer­ent drugs. There is a to­tal of about five to six drugs and among them there is a drug which we call calam­ic­ing, which is an in­jec­tion and this one is ad­min­is­tered daily for six to eight months. The prob­lem is that it dam­ages the ears at some point in time depend­ing on the amount of dose that a pa­tient would have taken,” he said.

Dr Charam­bira said they are in the process of phas­ing out or re­duc­ing the time taken by a pa­tient to be in­jected fol­low­ing rec­om­men­da­tions by the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The Min­istry of Health and Child Care’s deputy di­rec­tor of Aids and TB pro­gramme, Dr Charles Sandy, said ru­ral folks were the most af­fected by drug re­sis­tant TB as they de­lay get­ting treat­ment.

He said 70 per­cent of spec­i­men by TB pa­tients in ru­ral ar­eas does not reach lab­o­ra­to­ries due to a short­age of re­sources.

“The main prob­lem is that some­times the sam­ple is de­posited by the pa­tient but there will be no fa­cil­ity to take it to the di­ag­no­sis cen­tre. We’re re­ly­ing on en­vi­ron­men­tal tech­ni­cians but they’re not so many,” said Dr Sandy. — @ nqot­shili

Dr Charles Sandy

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.