Sixth edition of TB treatment guidelines launched

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The revised version of tuberculosis (TB) treatment guidelines was launched today at a workshop where health workers and doctors will take the next three days to familiarise themselves with the new information contained in the document.

The collaborative venture, between the National Tuberculosis Programme and the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) office in Guyana, is in keeping with the mandate of the former to provide high-quality prevention, treatment and support services.

Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings.

At the opening ceremony, Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings detailed what is now captured in the revised document. According to the minister, the revised guidelines are based on updated statistics and other details from the World Health Organization (WHO) along with best practices and protocols from other countries.

“It includes a new algorithm for the provision of Isoniazid Preventative Therapy for people living with HIV. It includes updated laboratory capabilities for TB cultures and drug sensitivity testing with the Gene-x-pert machine and Bactec MGIT”, she explained.

Further, the revised guideline also encapsulates the new short course regimen for the treatment of Multi-Drug Resistant TB, new formulations for the management of children with TB and new case definitions and classifications of the reporting of TB.

To keep abreast with the international recommendations and standards, the minister added, the report has been continuously updated to meet the global ‘End TB’ by 2035 strategy.

stakeholders were reminded of their role, which does not stop at diagnosing TB and prescribing treatment. They were urged to ensure that patients are provided with the necessary education, counselling and referrals to appropriate services, addressing psychological and social issues enabling and empowering patients to successfully complete their treatment.

“This revised manual will remain accessible to health care institutions in both the public and private sector so I implore you, health care professionals to read and meticulously follow these guidelines. This revised manual will contribute to improved care and outcomes of patients infected with TB and other relevant co-morbidities”, Minister Cummings emphasised.

The Guyana situation as at 2017 indicates that the TB mortality rate is 9 per 100,000 while the TB incidence rate is 70 per 100,000. Director of the National Tuberculosis Programme, Dr. Jeetendra Mohanlall highlighted that for 2017, there were “458 new cases, 68 relapse cases” underlining the fact that these are the lowest figures in fifteen years.

Other statistics related to the disease included TB/HIV co-infection rate of 108 new cases which is equivalent to 24 percent of all recorded TB cases, a treatment default rate of 17 percent as against a treatment success rate of new Smear positive TB cases of 73 percent.

On the note of treatment success rate, Dr. Mohanlall indicated there is a need for improvement since it has remained within the range of 70 to 79 percent for some time. He said that the intent is to intensify work of TB treatment in all regions to get the success rate well above 80 percent. He also expressed hoped that the new edition of guidelines is effectively implemented.

The workshop will run from March 20 to 22, 218 at Duke Lodge’s conference room in Kingston

Participants at the workshop.

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


By: Delicia Haynes