MHF TOP PICKS FOR AUGUST
Every month, we at the Mueller Health Foundation like to showcase interesting news and updates in the field of tuberculosis. Below are our top 3 picks for August:
- .Innovative Deal Could Give Millions Access to Cheaper Tuberculosis Drugs
The patent on the tuberculosis drug bedaquiline expired on July 18. But while
its manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, intends to use secondary patents to
extend its exclusive right to sell the drug, an innovative deal was reached to
lower its price and expand access to millions around the globe. The neverbefore-seen deal between Johnson & Johnson and Global Drug Facility, a nonprofit organization, would dramatically expand access to bedaquiline. The
agreement, which was finalized in June but announced on July 13 after a social
media campaign spearheaded by author John Green, will allow for the sale and
manufacture of generic bedaquiline in most lower and middle income countries.
To learn more, you can access the full article at:
- Indonesia Plans to Revive Sanatoriums to Treat Tuberculosis
President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo recently instructed the Health Ministry of Indonesia to reestablish sanatoriums as part of the government’s strategy to curb increasing TB cases in the country. The ministry recorded 354 cases of TB and 34 deaths from the disease per 100,000 population. The Indonesian government aims to reduce the number to 65 cases and six deaths per 100,000 population by 2030. Indonesia is the second-highest contributor to global TB cases in the world after India, according to the 2022 Global TB Report issued by the World Health Organization (WHO). Sanatoriums would limit the risk of disease transmission to healthy family members, while health workers could monitor the patients to make sure they stayed on their medication, said Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin.The ministry was still formulating details on the sanatorium program, including the length of the quarantine and whether the program would be made mandatory for people with TB. Patients treated in a facility would also receive healthy and nutritious meals to support their recovery process. To learn more, you can read the article here: https://www.thestar.com.my/aseanplus/aseanplus-news/2023/08/03/indonesia-plans-to-revive-sanatoriums-to-treat-tuberculosis
DID YOU KNOW?
Tuberculosis not only affects humans, but the animal world as well. Recently, there have been increased reports of TB outbreaks among captive elephants within the United States. Below is a summary of key facts related to tuberculosis in elephants:
- Since 1996, about 60 elephants have been diagnosed with TB in a population of nearly 1,300 individuals in zoo facilities within the United States.
- In North America, approximately 5% of captive Asian elephants are infected with M. tuberculosis, on the basis of positive cultures of trunk washing samples or necropsy results. Asian elephants have a higher incidence rate than African elephants.
- Testing for TB in elephants is an expensive and unreliable process costing approximately $500 USD per trunk wash. The disease can lie dormant for years before an elephant tests positive, and elephants that have TB often do not show signs of the disease.
- Elephants are social animals that live in close contact with others in herds, making transmission likely within a herd. Medical quarantine is possible for infected elephants but not healthy for long periods of time for these naturally social creatures.
- Within the US, elephants are transferred often from one facility to another, bringing them into contact with many other elephants and humans, allowing for transmission across large populations.
- Routine TB screening among elephants and caretakers by setting up an occupational health program for early diagnosis of infection through combined efforts of public health, veterinary medicine, and occupational health experts is suggested.