A case of multi drug resistant Tuberculosis has been detectedÂ in Epworth near Harare while results of another suspected case are yet to be confirmed.
Out of the two people, one has already tested positive to multi-resistant drug TB while the other has been tested and results are not yet out.
This was revealed by Mr. Zacharia Mwatia when he was addressing a group of journalists that were touring the Medicines Sans Frontiere MSF program at Epworth polyclinic.
TB has been treated with combination therapy called the Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS) strategy for over 50 years. Patients have been allowed to take their medication at home completely unsupervised.
However governments worldwide are now recommending fixed-dose combination formulations (FDCs) as a further step to facilitate the optimal drug treatment of TB.
The government of Zimbabwe in conjunction with the ministry of health has started using FDCs in TB control in order to simplify the doctorsâ€™ prescription and patientâ€™s drug intake, as well as the drug supply management of the programme.
The FDCs are expected to help prevent the emergence of multi drug resistance Health and Child Welfare Permanent Secretary Dr Gerald Gwinji noted that there have always been fears that a combination of poor compliance and poor medical supervision may result in multi-drug resistance.
The treatment of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis is specialized, complex and expensive and is at the moment only undertaken at recognised centres with experience of managing such patients.