|Dr Nguyen Viet Nhung, director of the National Lung Hospital and National Tuberculosis Programme Manager (centre), speaks at the event organised to launch a new anti-TB drug. — Photo courtesy US Embassy
HA NOI (VNS) — Bedaquiline, the first new medicine to fight drug-resistant tuberculosis in more than 40 years, is now available in Viet Nam, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said today.
This new medication has been developed through a partnership between USAID and Janssen Therapeutics of Johnson & Johnson. According to experts, this partnership has proved to be a significant step forward in the global fight against the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Tuberculosis remains one of the most common communicable diseases in Viet Nam, with 130,000 new cases and 17,000 deaths being reported every year. As the public health burden of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis mounts, Viet Nam is among the first countries in the world to receive the Bedaquiline donation to support its continuing battle against the disease.
USAID Vietnam, the health ministry's national tuberculosis programme, the KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation and other partners attended an event at the National Lung Hospital to launch the donation programme with the delivery of medicines to more than 100 patients fighting pre-extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis and extensive drug-resistant tuberculosis in the country. This event also saw the launch of a shorter nine-month regimen for a more cost-effective treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Viet Nam.—VNS