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The end of a long TB treatment journey

12 October 2017

In September 2017, when 18-year old Sinethemba Kuse from Khayelitsha in South Africa’s Western Cape was declared cured of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB), her friends, family, doctors and counsellors threw her ‘cure party’. In South Africa, 3 out of 4 XDR-TB patients do not get to celebrate being cured. Sinethemba’s story is extraordinary. Yet it shouldn’t be.

Thousands of people living with drug-resistant strains of TB (DR-TB) in South Africa could benefit from the same new TB drug that Sinethemba took as part of her daily drug regimen, called delamanid, manufactured by Japanese pharmaceutical company Otsuka. Yet access to delamanid and its use in combination with another promising TB drug bedaquiline remains very limited in South Africa and other high TB burden countries globally, due to registration hurdles and limited operational data.

At The TB Union Conference in Mexico (11-14 October, 2017), MSF will release early data and analysis on the programmatic use of delamanid, including from MSF’s Khayelitsha TB programme, which suggests that the drug is safe and effective, including when used in combination with bedaquiline.