DTG To Be Across Board: Health Ministry

DOLUTEGRAVIR (DTG) based regimens will be rolled out nationally to all people living with HIV including women of child bearing ages and babies.

By Kudakwashe Pembere Recently in Kadoma

Addressing a training workshop for civil society on new HIV/TB treatment guidelines, HIV/TB Public Health Specialist in the Health and Child Care Ministry Dr Clorata Gwanzura said with this transitioning they have been targeting a 12, 5 percent coverage of clients eyeing a 100 percent end of next year.

The take home message for 2018-2019 is we have moved to DTG based regimens for first line across board. That is children, adolescents and adults. We are also going to see even on our second lines we also have DTG as part of those regimens.

“So DTG has now come in, for first and second line regimens we have it. And then for clients in third line who will not be resistant to DTG it’s also one of the drugs that can be pooled out to get the medicines. Dolutegravir is going to be for children who are 20Kgs and above.

“Studies on children who weigh less than 20kg are still being done to make sure that the dosage is right and correct and what is the best for children who weigh less than 20kgs,” she said.

Zimbabwe in 2016 adopted the Tenofovir based regimen which included the TLE 400 and TLE 400.

“From 2016 we adopted the Tenofovir based regimen,our TLE400, TLE600. That is what we were using and we are still using it as our first line regimen. So late 2018, WHO brought out a policy brief where they gave guidance on first and second line post exposure prophylaxis and the management of latent TB infection.

“This policy brief came with the recommendation to say they were recommending DTG based regimens. Because we moved along with that the country went through processes of adopting these guidelines.

“From quarter three 2018 consultations were done to say this is what the new guidelines are saying, had meetings with National Therapeutic Medicines Committee. They are the ones that put a stamp to say we are taking up or not this medicine. Their decision take into account all things gathered through the consultations done. And then when they endorse saying we are taking this and leaving that, we develop tools which is what we did,” she said.

Dr Gwanzura also said they then developed tools to the addendum.

“We made the addendum, we made job aides, training materials etc. In the first quarter this year we had two meetings and in May where we disseminated that addendum. There was a lot of work done on sensitisation and training. So decisions were made on how we were going to transition,” she said.

She also said that people who are on Efavirenz regimens will be given DTG on their next refill. Dr Gwanzura encouraged clients to report any side effects experienced while taking the drug.

Zimbabwe Aids Network National Coordinator Mr Taurai Nyandoro said on the DTG national roll out,all clients meaning the old and new will be put on the drug.

Zimbabwe started the roll out of DTG in May this year. The country had deffered the drug after findings that it had neural tube defects for new born babies.

But WHO calmed the fears recently saying the drug was now safe to use as a preferred antiretroviral drug on all populations including pregnant women and those of childbearing potential following new evidence assessing benefits and risks.



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