New Telegraph

250,000 patients to benefit from free TB preventive treatment in 7 countries

The Unitaid-funded IMPAACT4TB Consortium, led by the Aurum Institute has announced that it will provide 250,000 patient courses of short course rifapentine-based preventive treatment regimens to seven countries to help prevent tuberculosis (TB). The patient courses will include the three-month 3HP regimen, and the even shorter 1HP, that is only taken for 28 days.

This contribution is part of the Consortium’s ongoing efforts to end TB and improve global health outcomes. The seven countries set to benefit from this initiative are Brazil, Haiti, India, the Maldives, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia.

This supply of rifapentine-based preventive treatment regimens is expected to contribute significantly to the global effort to reduce the incidence of TB, which continues to be a major public health challenge worldwide. “Despite commitments to end TB as a global epidemic by 2030, the disease remains the world’s deadliest infectious disease, killing around 4,400 people every day,” said Professor Gavin Churchyard, Chief Executive Officer of Aurum Institute and the Principal Investigator of the IMPAACT4TB project. “TB prevention is a cornerstone of any effort to eliminate TB, and we hope that these 250,000 patient courses will contribute to countries’ efforts to finally make TB a disease of the past.” About one quarter of the world’s population is infected with a form of TB that causes no symptoms and is not contagious. Without treatment, five per cent to 10 per cent of those infected will develop active TB, which causes severe illness and can be transmitted from person to person through the air. TB preventive treatment regimens lower the risk of progression to TB in people at risk, including children, pregnant women and people living with HIV. In recent years, new and shorter rifapentine-based TB preventive treatment regimens have been recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and are becoming increasingly available. Currently, over four million patient courses are being manufactured annually. These shorter regimens are associated with higher treatment adherence, completion and outcomes. In fact, people taking shorter regimens are up to three times more likely to complete their course than those on longer regimens— leading to better outcomes and more lives saved.

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