According to the World Health Organization’s recommendation, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis /MDRT/ treatment period is to last up to two years. Thereby, a patient should take 4-5 kinds of medicines a day and use kanamycin injection for up to eight months. Since the treatment requires long time and various side effects occur, patients tends to break treatment which makes treatment effect low. In 2018, particularly, average treatment effect was 55 percent worldwide whereas in Mongolia it showed 63.9 percent.
Since 2014, Tuberculosis clinic, the National Center for Communicable Diseases in association with the Mongolian Anti-Tuberculosis Association have been working as a part of the international multicenter Stream pharmacy study phase III. As a result of the first stage of the study, the multidrug-resistant tuberculosis treatment period could be shortened up to nine to eleven months without using new medicines. The results of the research were published in New England Journal of Medicine in March, 2019.
The study results are able not only to change world policy, but also reduce significantly financial burdens on patients and their families as well as health sector as a whole.
As of October 30, 2019, a total of 85 patients in Mongolia are undergoing short-term treatment.
At the second stage of the study, bedaquiline medication was introduced in Mongolia for treating multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Bedaquiline replaces kanamycin which has serious side effect as hearing loss and kidney failure. Currently, 41 patients are undergoing this kind of treatment.