By Ben Musanje
8th Feb 2024
In efforts to end Tuberculosis (TB) in the country, researchers have commenced a clinical trial of two new drugs that could treat and cure the disease in a shorter period of time.
The existing drugs contain a medication period of six months which is not adhered to by the patients and these result in a Multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB).
Dr. Timothy Muwanguzi, the TB Drug Clinical Trial Coordinator at the Uganda CWRU Research Collaboration while at the media cafe organized by the Health Journalists Network Uganda (HEJNU) at Kamwokya noted that the two new drug will reduce the medication period of TB to four and two months respectively.
He says that the study will last for five years and after that they will inform the country about the results.
Uganda is one of the world’s thirty (30) high-burden countries for TB and TB/HIV co-infection with each year, approximately 91,000 people in Uganda get sick of TB with 32% of them being HIV-infected.
Two out of every 100 people with TB have drug-resistant TB that is not cured by first-line drugs, while approximately 15% of TB cases in Uganda are children aged below 14 years.
Sylvia Nassozi, a Community Technical Officer from the USAID Local Partner Health Services TB Activity Project under TASO says they provide susceptible TB treatment for six months and also 12 to 24 months for Drug Resistant TB.
She says they normally call patients reminding them to take their medication so that the treatment doesn’t turn resistant and also they deliver drugs to those that can’t pick their medication.
Fred Ebil, a TB survivor and the Executive Director of Fellowship of TB Survivors says that survivors should be followed by the medical officers after treatment to avoid getting treatment recurrences that mostly result in death.