Care and treatment
With the development of the first new anti-TB drugs (i.e. bedaquiline, delamanid and pretomanid) for many decades and the re-purposing of existing drugs to treat DR-TB patients (e.g. clofazimine, fluoroquinolones and linezolid), we are now moving into the era when patients can be offered shorter and all oral treatment regimens for DR-TB, with fewer drugs. Hence the World Health Organization (WHO) is now recommending the use of injection free i.e. all oral, shorter treatment regimens (possibly of only six to nine months duration) for various forms of DR-TB. This is a huge step forwards for patients.
KNCV believes in patient-centered care, and is currently technically supporting ten countries to implement the newly recommended six to nine months, all-oral 4-drug, BPaL regimen to improve adherence and treatment success in a specific group of DR-TB patients. Currently WHO recommends that the so-called BPaL regimen be implemented under operational research (OR) conditions. Hence KNCV is providing the countries with the wide range of technical assistance to the ten countries required to introduce the BPaL regimen under OR conditions. This includes assistance to develop implementation plans, OR protocols, and training material, assessments of facility’s readiness to introduce the novel regimen, and introduction of the necessary active drug safety and monitoring systems and recording and reporting systems. Using the expert consultant team within KNCV, these activities are being supported via the KNCV Endowment Fund in Nigeria, TB REACH Wave 7 projects in Tajikistan and Ukraine, and under the TB Alliance / KOICA’s LIFT-TB project in seven countries (Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, The Philippines, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam).