Some 34 medical specialists and medical doctors from district hospitals in the country attended a two-day training on shorter regimen of multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) treatment in Paro.

According to a press release from the health ministry, the training is conducted to sensitise and study on the 2016 World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended guidelines of shorter regimen MDR-TB treatment.

“It is also aimed to share ideas and experiences of other countries who have already adopted and implemented this shorter regimen in the region and globally for the treatment of MDR-TB,” it states.

The Tuberculosis Control Programme with the Department of Public Health is in the process of developing a guideline and standard operating procedures (SOPs) on the shorter regimen of nine to 11 months.

With this shorter regimen, the duration of MDR-TB treatment will be shortened from 20 months to 9 -11 months. “Newly added drugs to the current regimen is more effective with lesser side effects, cost of drugs treatment per patient is cheap and outcome at the end of treatment will give better results of more than 85 percent,” the press release states.

The guidelines and SOPs will soon be finalised and the programme is expected to introduce the shorter regimen in the next six months. “About 15 patients are expected to be enrolled in the first year of the implementation and gradually increase the enrolment to this shorter MDR-TB regimen.”

Staff Reporter