Over 90% of drug resistant TB patients get treatment

KICUKIRO -More than 90 percent of patients suffering from Multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis (MDR TB) have received treated and are fully recovered, it has emerged.MDR Tuberculosis occurs when TB patients do not take their medicine as prescribed; leading to the bacteria becoming resistant to certain drugs.

KICUKIRO - More than 90 percent of patients suffering from Multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis (MDR TB) have received treated and are fully recovered, it has emerged.

MDR Tuberculosis occurs when TB patients do not take their medicine as prescribed; leading to the bacteria becoming resistant to certain drugs.

The Coordinator of the regional centre on Programmatic Management of Drug Resistant Tuberculosis, Dr Rudoviko Ruhirwa, made the revelation during the first International Laboratory Training course for biomedical technologists and physicians specialised in Laboratory Medicine, held at the School of Public Health, in Kicukiro, Kigali.

Between 2007 and 2009, the TB resistant cases that received treatment and fully recovered stood at 87 percent.

“The government puts in a lot of effort to treat Resistant Tuberculosis. Patients receive a two-year treatment together with nutritional support, transport and follow up until they are fine,” Dr Ruhirwa said.

He added that specialists who have expertise in treating the disease have been continuously trained.

Ruhirwa noted that more medics are also receiving training so as to increase the number of those that can treat this type of tuberculosis.

He also noted that previously, Rwanda took samples of TB patients to Belgium for testing and screening but now the country has its own equipment.

Dr Odette Mukabaire, the Director General of National Reference Laboratory, said that Rwanda has the full capacity to treat MDR Tuberculosis.

“We test the samples quickly and send them to the concerned doctors on time so the patients begin their treatment early, thus leading to high chances of healing,” Mukabaire said.

She also attributed the success to onsite training offered to health workers offered by experts from other countries.

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