Strengthening the Response to Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in the Public Health Sector is a three-year project that supports South Africa’s National Department of Health and its partners in achieving targets for drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) outlined in the country’s National Strategic Plan on HIV, STIs and TB.
These targets are:
- Antiretroviral therapy (ART) to be initiated within two weeks for all patients with TB or DR-TB who are co-infected with HIV
- All patients with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) to be started on treatment within five days after confirmation
- All primary health care facilities to provide ART and MDR-TB treatment
- Treatment success rates to be improved to 90 percent for patients with TB and 60 percent for patients with MDR-TB
One of the primary objectives of the project is to improve access for underserved MDR-TB patients by decentralizing treatment initiation sites from 31 districts to all 52 districts and increasing treatment service points from fewer than 100 to 2,500 sites. This is done through the existing primary health care ward-based teams and through rapid establishment and scale-up of nurse-led MDR-TB treatment management teams.
The project is supported by the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership via United Way Worldwide.