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October 24, 2021
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PNG Health Authorities, MSF & Partners Organise Workshop to Innovate TB Treatment

By Staycey Yalo – EMTV News, Port Moresby

An international training workshop on ‘Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis’ started today in Port Moresby with participants from other Asian countries, including Afghanistan and Armenia. The workshop will focus on drug-resistant TB, the treatment and the new drugs to treat drug-resistant TB.

PNG will have 15 participants involved in the workshop, with international trainers coming in from USA, UK, France and Swaziland.

Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders and the End TB partnership with the National Department of Health and the National Tuberculosis Programs in PNG have come together to discuss the use of new TB drugs in drug-resistant tuberculosis treatment. The training workshop will run for the next four days.

According to the World Health Organization, of almost 30,000 cases of TB identified in PNG in the year 2016, an estimated 1,200 were drug resistant. While the current treatment for drug-resistant TB is up to 2 years, it has proved to be ineffective and often causes difficult side effects. As such, in the last five years, two new TB drugs of Badaquiline and Delamanid have become available to some patients with hard to treat drug-resistant forms of TB.

Although the effects of the use of these two new drugs are yet to be fully known, a recent MSF study published in the Lancet Infectious Disease showed that using the two new drugs in combination can be particularly effective in treating patients with the most severe forms of drug-resistant TB.

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