The first TB patient in Nigeria to be treated with the BPaL regimen

Ruth Iliya, who was first diagnosed in January 2021 is the first TB patient in Nigeria to be treated with the new, ground-breaking TB treatment: the BPaL regimen. This treatment for people with advanced forms of drug-resistant tuberculosis is much shorter than previous treatments and consists of only 3 oral drugs. Above all, BPaL is expected to have a much higher success rate. This brings new hope to patients with this form of TB.

Ruth with the KNCV team, NTBLCP team and her Doctors at ATBUTH DR-TB Treatment Center during the BPaL enrollment

Ruth and her family reside in Abuja, where she was first diagnosed.

I was referred to Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH) from FCT TBLCP in Abuja where I had been on other treatment drugs but the weakness and coughing continued,” she says.

The doctor at ATBUTH Bauchi diagnosed  a serious form of resistant TB and Ruth was admitted immediately. Prior to her been diagnosed, Ruth planned to write the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) in Bauchi. This examination is a graduation certificate awarded to most students in Nigeria. This she will do while living with her uncle in Bauchi since her parents will not be able to stay with her all through the exam period in another state due to their jobs; unfortunately, she became ill. Her uncle is presently her guardian in Bauchi while she is receiving treatment.

I can’t wait to get better and return to school. I do not want to miss my graduation examination” Ruth says.

But at the same time, she is hopeful.

Administration of the BPaL drug by Dr. Jacob Dunga, Internal Medicine Specialist and Research Clinician at ATBUTH

I feel so much better after starting the drugs last week, I am regaining my strength day by day”.

The 17-year-old High school student is now enrolled on BPaL and grateful that she has access to this new treatment.

Read more about the enrolment of the BPaL treatment.

KNCV has been fighting TB since its establishment in 1903. Over the past 117 years, the organization has acquired indispensable knowledge and experience in the field of effective TB control, resulting in pre-elimination in the Netherlands and significant contributions to global evidence generation, policy development and TB program implementation worldwide.

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Tuberculosis is still one of the major causes of preventable death in the world and claims over 4000 lives a day, leading to over 1,5 million deaths a year.

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