Digital Innovation to Boost TB Treatment

Source: Digital Innovation to Boost TB Treatment | Herald Africa

The fight against tuberculosis (TB) has received fresh impetus following the rolling out of a latest digital technology. The innovation which is part of Adherence Support Coalition to End TB (ASCENT) employs the use of Digital adherence tools (DAT) which enables the patient giving them more freedom to take the medication when and where it suits them best.

Speaking here at the weekend, ASCENT Project Manager, Baraka Onjare said the digital innovation helps patients to successfully complete their course of treatment through the use of data-driven support interventions. “Such an innovation bring a more robust way to empower patients to take control of their treatment while simplifying the healthcare workers monitoring task in real-time,” explained Mr. Onjare during the launch of ASCENT project.

According to Mr. Onjare, the project provides real-time information to a TB doctor or nurse, helping them to determine the most appropriate treatment approach for each individual patient. “This makes it possible to provide better-individualized care and focus efforts on those patients that need extra support,” he said. In his earlier address, National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Programme (NTLP) Manager, Riziki Kisonga said the KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation-funded project seeks to complement the government’s efforts in fighting the deadly disease.

“The challenge in addressing the effects of TB lies in the frequency of taking medication for the patients, we are however optimistic that the digital boxes will reduce the burden on the patients and the health system as a whole,” said Mr. Kisonga. The project will implement in five different countries namely Tanzania, Ethiopia, the Philippines, South Africa and Ukraine.

Research on ASCENT is currently conducted in the regions of Arusha, Manyara, Geita and Mwanza. TB is caused by bacteria and it most often affects the lungs. It is spread through the air when people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 9.9 million people fell ill with TB worldwide in 2020.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Embassy of the United Republic of Tanzania Tel Aviv, Israel.

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