The Ministry of Health and USAID’s Challenge TB project started to enroll patients with drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis (TB) in new, more effective and shorter treatments nationwide. The new treatments are cheaper with fewer side effects than the previously-used standard treatment.
Patients with multidrug-resistant TB will be enrolled in a shorter treatment that takes only nine to 12 months, instead of the usual 20-24 months. Extensively drug-resistant cases will now be treated with individual treatment regimens using new drugs, Bedaquiline and Delamanid. Introduction of the new treatment regimens started in January 2017 in Chui oblast and Bishkek. Since November, the treatments are available in the regions of Jalal-Abad, Batken, and Osh.
The country is planning to shift entirely to these new treatments by spring of 2018.
The USAID Challenge TB project has strongly supported the expansion of these drugs, including by training over 1,000 doctors, and will continue to support this process over the next two years.
The Kyrgyz Republic is one of 30 countries with the highest levels of multidrug-resistant TB. Annually, around 1,400 Kyrgyzstanis fall ill with multi-drug resistant TB, which is resistant to the two most powerful and effective drugs normally used to treat TB.