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WHO issues rapid communication on updated guidance for the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis

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The Rapid Communication is released in advance of updated WHO consolidated guidelines expected later in 2022

A rapid communication released by the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Tuberculosis Programme has announced upcoming updates to the guidance on the treatment of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (DR-TB). These updates include shorter novel 6-month all-oral regimens for the treatment of multidrug- and rifampicin-resistant TB (MDR/RR-TB), with or without additional resistance to fluoroquinolones (pre-XDR-TB) as well as an alternative 9-month all-oral regimen for the treatment of MDR/RR-TB.

All treatment should be delivered under WHO-recommended standards, including patient-centred care and support, informed consent where necessary, principles of good clinical practice, active drug safety monitoring and management, and regular monitoring of patients and of drug resistance to assess regimen effectiveness.

Dr Tereza Kasaeva, Director, WHO’s Global TB Programme said, “We now have more and much better treatment options for people with drug-resistant TB thanks to research generating new evidence. This is major progress compared to what was available even a few years ago, and will be of great benefit for people struggling with TB and drug-resistant TB, resulting in better outcomes, saving lives and reducing suffering. We now need all hands-on deck to enable the rapid uptake of these guidelines, and to enable access to the new treatment options for those in need.”

The Rapid Communication is released in advance of updated WHO consolidated guidelines expected later in 2022, to inform national TB programmes and other stakeholders of key changes in the treatment of DR-TB and to allow for rapid transition and planning at the country level.

 

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