DOH: Medicine for Tuberculosis Now in PH

Manila Bulletin, May 27, 2016 | Go to article overview

DOH: Medicine for Tuberculosis Now in PH


The medicine for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is now in the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) and its partners announced Friday (May 27, 2016) in Makati City; giving hope to TB patients who only have limited treatment options because of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

AMR, one of the world's most serious public health threats, is defined as incidents when bacteria become antibiotic resistant; making diseases, such as TB pneumonia, and gonorrhoea, harder to treat. In the Philippines, an estimated 11,000 Filipinos are infected with MDR-TB. The illness is on average 10 times more expensive to treat and can result to long-term or permanent side effects.

"Anti-microbial resistance, a recognized global threat, is a clear and present danger, especially in TB. Incomplete or irregular treatments may lead to MDR-TB or even death. And while the costs of first-line TB medications have gone down over the years, the drugs for MDR-TB remain relatively expensive with painful and almost intolerable side effects," Health Secretary Janette Loreto-Garin noted in her speech.

According to the annual reports produced by the Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Program of DOH - Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, there are increasing rates of resistance among various pathogens. Many of the causative bacterial pathogens in the ten leading causes of morbidity in the country have also acquired multiple drug resistance and at the forefront is TB. …

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