There is a silver lining in the fight against Tuberculosis (TB) in Kenya, following the release of a new TB treatment and vaccine.
The new regimen, released locally by Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), will reduce the treatment period from six to four months.
“Kenya is now moving towards shortening this treatment period further to four months and Institute hopes to support the National TB Control Program in rolling out this new treatment program,” KEMRI said in a press release.
The initial treatment lasted for a period of eighteen months before Kemri further reduced it to six months.
“Current research in TB is harnessing technology in diagnosis, clinical drug and vaccine therapeutics towards better and lasting solutions to TB,” read part of the statement.
The release of the vaccine and treatment happens as Kenya joins the globe to commemorate World TB Day today, in Uasin Gishu County.
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TB is among Kenya's top three killer diseases, alongside malaria and HIV/AIDS.
In 2020, Kenya recorded a total of 72,943 TB cases, 5,663 of these were pediatric cases translating to eight out of every ten infections.
The two promising vaccines were tried among adults and children from Nairobi and Siaya counties.
At least 1,500 participants were recruited for the vaccine candidate from the Serum Institute of India.
Similarly, researchers are also following progress on another phase 3 vaccines clinical trials for adolescents and adults.
Researchers at KEMRI participated in Phase 2 trials of the m72 candidate TB vaccine, which recruited approximately 3, 500 adults across several African countries that showed an efficacy signal.
The researchers are hopeful that the vaccines will be adopted by World Health Organisation (WHO) and used in protection against TB.