Saturday, March 28, 2009

Drug-resistant TB treated at home in South Africa

From CBC News:
South Africa is trying a home-based care program to contain the spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis.

With no new drugs on the horizon, the only way to contain the spread of the highly contagious disease is to help people stick to the gruelling two-year treatment plan required for a full recovery, said Dr. Eric Goemaere, who heads Médecins Sans Frontières in South Africa.

"We are recycling old drugs" that were invented in the 1950s, Goemaere said in an interview for World TB Day on Tuesday. "They were abandoned because they were too toxic."

Goemaere has launched a home-based care program in Khayelitsha, a poor, black township near Cape Town.

Busi Beko was isolated from her family when she was diagnosed with a strain of tuberculosis that is resistant to conventional TB medications. Beko endured two years of injections so toxic that they could have left her permanently deaf. ...more

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