Country Dialogue highlights need to eliminate TB treatment defaulters

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, January 11, 2018

The percenatge of patients with tuberculosis that have defaulted from initial treatment remains a challenge for the National Tuberculosis (TB) Programme, so says Director, Dr. Jeetendra Mohanlall.

Dr. Jeetendra Mohanlall, Programme Director, National Tuberculosis Programme.

Dr. Mohanlall, addressing a country dialogue on TB at the Grand Coastal Hotel today, revealed that the treatment default rate, recorded for 2017 was 15 percent, “This default rate is high for us, it’s very high so you can see that this is a gap. This is a challenge for us at the TB programme.”

On the positive side, the Programme Director disclosed that for the 2016-2017 period, the TB Programme recorded a reduction in the number of related mortalities.

“The mortality rate from our programme statistics is at 8.2 per 100,000. Incidence rate is around 70 per 100,000 with 458 new cases and 73 relapsed… Treatment success rate for smear-positive cases was 73 percent… treatment success should be high as 85 percent, internationally.”

He explained that the Global Fund’s contributions also played a part in the reduced mortality and incidence. Global Fund is supporting Guyana’s TB programme with US$500,000 to achieve the goals of the “END TB” strategy, over a three-year period.

Coordinator of the Guyana Global Fund – Country Coordinating Mechanism, Maria Niles, observed that while Guyana has reported a decline in TB cases over the years, HIV/TB co-infection remains an area of concern.

Further, she noted that while Guyana Global Fund raises and invests nearly $4B each year to support TB programmes worldwide, the funding is rapidly decreasing, and is forcing countries to take ownership of their respective programmes.

The country dialogue hosted by the Guyana Global Fund-Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) and the National Tuberculosis (TB) Programme sought to bring representatives of the mechanism and those working in the field of TB up-to-date, on how funds were dispersed. It was also necessary so that the stakeholders could decide on “suitable” projects that will be funded under the Fund’s next disbursement.

The Global Fund CCM monitors and guides the implementation of nationally agreed programmes in the areas of AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, supported with funding from a wider Global Fund specified to combat these infections.

The Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) was established as an oversight body for the effective implementation of grants provided to Guyana by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (The Global Fund). The establishment of the CCM conforms to the standards and requirements of The Global Fund and embraces the primacy of national ownership, partnership-based governance and performance-based funding.

Some of the stakeholders in attendance at the country dialogue on Tuberculosis.

Maria Niles, Co-ordinator of the Guyana Global Fund – Country Coordinating Mechanism.

 

By: Delicia Haynes

 

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