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Treatment outcomes in people with tuberculosis in Uzbekistan

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A 16-year assessment of TB treatment outcomes in Uzbekistan has helped identify those who need special attention during treatment to improve future success rates.

Ancient cite in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

The Centre for Operational Research at The Union, led by Ajay Kumar and Anthony Harries, collaborated with the World Health Organization in Uzbekistan and Europe, the University of Radboud in the Netherlands and the National Tuberculosis Programme and Ministry of Health in Uzbekistan to assess TB treatment outcomes over a 16-year period in the Republic of Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan. The study led by Dr Jamshid Gadoev, from the WHO Country Office in Uzbekistan, has just been published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

In brief, between 2005 and 2020, over 35,000 TB patients were treated, of whom 79% had their treatment successfully completed. While there was a slight decline in treatment success between 2011 and 2013 to about 75%, in the four years from 2017 to 2020 treatment success was at 80-81%.

Altogether 21% of the cohort had unfavourable treatment outcomes, with death in 4%, treatment failure in 3%, loss to follow-up in 6% and transfer-out in 8%. On multivariable regression, factors independently associated with unfavourable outcomes included increasing age, living in certain areas of the republic, disability, pensioner status, unemployment, being HIV-positive, having pulmonary TB and receiving category II treatment. Factors independently associated with death, treatment failure and loss to follow up were also assessed. .

This study helped the National TB Programme and Ministry of Health to identify sub-groups of people who will need special attention during treatment in order to improve treatment success rates in the future.