Stool-Based diagnosis Could Eradicate TB In Children

A simple method for processing stool samples for Xpert MTB/RIF testing using minimal equipment has been announced at the 49th Union World Conference on Lung Health and could enable the identification of thousands of children with  tuberculosis (TB) and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) disease – drastically reducing the numbers of children under five dying from TB. Currently, an estimated 239,000 children die every year from tuberculosis (TB). Children with TB rarely die when they receive standard treatment for the disease, but 90 percent of children who die from TB worldwide went untreated.…

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Expensive Drug Resistant TB Drugs Derail Treatment Efforts

People with drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) continue to be deprived of today’s best-possible treatment in part because of high drug prices, according to a new report—DR-TB Drugs Under the Microscope— released today by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) at the 49th Union World Conference on Lung Health in The Hague.   MSF called, in particular, on US pharmaceutical corporation Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to cut the price of the newer TB drug bedaquiline in half, so more lives can be Sed aved. In August 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended expanding…

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European Heads of State Snub TB Meeting

THE ongoing United Nations High-Level  meeting on Tuberculosis happening in New York has registered a conspicuous absence of European heads of states amidst indications that only the Turkish leader is the only leader from the  block to have confirmed attendance to date. HealthTimes Reporter The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union)  Director of Stratedy, Paul Jensen expressed concern at the almost non-existent attendance of Heads of State from Europe attending the inaugural United Nations (UN) High-Level Meeting (HLM) On the Fight To End Tuberculosis (TB). “Ahead of…

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Gvt Digs Into Health Levy To Rescue TB Drugs Crisis

THE Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) says has allocated an amount to the tune of US$500 000 from the airtime health levy fund to beef up Tuberculosis (TB) drugs supplies in the face of a prevailing TB drugs crisis. By Michael Gwarisa According to the MoHCC, the country is currently experiencing an inadequate availability of fixed dose combination (FDC) medicines for the intensive phase treatment of tuberculosis (first two months) and the US$500 000 would also buttress some relief supplies government received from MSF. “The Ministry has received…

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Targeted TB Screening Effective For Vulnerable Communities

THE targeted screening for active Tuberculosis (TB) among high risk groups, being spearheaded by the Ministry of health and Child Care’s National TB Program in partnership with the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) bears fruits at community level. By Michael Gwarisa The National TB Program has partnered with The Union in intensifying active case finding for TB by targeting high risk groups and communities around the country. The initiative is being co-funded by Global Fund and USAID’s Challenge TB. In an interview with HealthTimes, The Union…

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Zim Excels In Adult TB Diagnosis: WHO

Zimbabwe is making great strides in terms of detecting tuberculosis despite lagging behind in pediatric TB diagnosis, a World Health Organisation (WHO) official has said. By Kuda Pembere WHO representative Dr Wiflred Nkhoma said the country has done impressively well in terms of diagnosing TB. He said this at the launch of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation-Unitaid Catalysing Pediatric TB Innovation in Zimbabwe. “I can safely say Zimbabwe has done well in TB treatment and I can tell you this as an advisor to the WHO regional office,” he…

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Five Barriers To Ending TB According To MSF

This World Tuberculosis Day (March 24), Doctors Without Borders (MSF) profiles five key strategies on which government and donors should focus their finances and efforts in order to end the deadly TB epidemic. BY MSF TB is curable, but there are numerous challenges that exist at every level of TB diagnosis and care – not only in South Africa, but around the world, where one person dies every 18 seconds from TB. Below are the five barriers to effective TB treatment Barrier 1: Stigma exacerbates the TB epidemic, which is already commonly…

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#BREAKING: Zim Records Decline In HIV Related TB Deaths- USAID

ZIMBABWE has recorded a decline in HIV associated TB deaths owing to improved TB diagnosis and treatment for people living with HIV, USAID has said. By Michael Gwarisa Speaking through their official Facebook page, USAID said HIV related TB deaths had decreased in Zimbabwe and plans to reduce it further through comprehensive treatment programs were in place. “We have exciting news to share! TB is the leading cause of death for people living with HIV. But in Zimbabwe, HIV-associated TB deaths have decreased by 75 percent in the past 3…

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#BREAKING: Global Fund Avails $500 million Funding To Zimbabwe’s Health Sector

THE Global Fund has availed an additional $502 million towards Zimbabwe’s healthcare which will go towards supporting HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria programmes for the next three years. By Michael Gwarisa The grants will be implemented by the Ministry of Health and Child and Child Care (MOHCC) and UNDP in collaboration with Civil Society Organizations and the National AIDS Council (NAC). Officiating at the Grant launch, Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenhyatwa said the $500 million grant will be able to sustain the gains made so far in fighting…

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TB Kills 1.7 Million Says MSF

By Michael Gwarisa Tuberculosis killed not less than 1.7 million people last year in 2016 amid increased cases  of drug-resistant (DR) forms of tuberculosis (TB), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has said. Four in five people with DR-TB remain undiagnosed, and only half of those started on treatment are cured.  Two newer drugs to treat DR-TB – bedaquiline and delamanid – have been available for five years and could help save more lives. Dr Isaac Chikwanha, Medical Advisor for TB, HIV and Hepatitis C, MSF Access Campaign said less than 5 per cent of people who need the drugs actually receive them…

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