17 June 2015
The South African Medical Research Council presents its latest findings on improving MDR-TB patient care and announces new research funding ventures at SA AIDS 2015
The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) yesterday announced new research funding ventures for South African medical scientists and presented key findings and recommendations on improving patient care for MDR-TB patients at the SA Aids Conference in Durban.
Professor Glenda Gray, President of the South African Medical Research Council together with Drs Roxanna Rustomajee and Marian Loveday briefed media and stakeholders on the partnership with the Newton Fund which intends to inject R70 million into TB research in Africa. This funding will support projects that will encompass a variety of methods and studies specifically designed to guide policies and programme implementation. The aim is to identify effective and efficient models for the improvement of TB prevention, care and treatment programmes.
“To date, TB control programmes have primarily focused on effective case management of passively presenting TB cases and the progress has been recorded towards international treatment targets. While outcomes of notified TB cases have improved, this strategy has not entirely managed to contain the TB epidemic,” said SAMRC President Professor Glenda Gray. “New control and implementation strategies, accompanied by novel TB control targets need to be identified, implemented and evaluated,” she said.
The SAMRC’s Dr Roxana Rustomjee also announced that ten new collaboration centres would be receiving R350 000 per annum over a period of three years. These TB and HIV Collaborating Centres will be established and funded in an effort to address South Africa’s two most devastating epidemics. “Funds will be used to build research capacity, promote networking as well as to improve on the overall infrastructure and logistics required to run a research centre,” said Dr Rustomjee. “We hope that they will foster, stimulate, and expand on basic, translational, behavioral and applied research in an effort to advance scientific discovery,” she said.
The cost effectiveness of different models of treatment for MDR-TB patients was presented by Dr Marian Loveday whose study found that the cost per patient per treatment model varied considerably. Dr Loveday’s presentation showed that community-based models of care were significantly cheaper than treatment at both centralised and decentralised hospitals. “We recommend community-based care for MDR-TB patients where there is an integration of the MDR-TB programme into the district health services,” she said.
Please see attached fact sheets for detailed information on the briefing.