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South Africa To Make Available Two New Drugs To Fight The TB Outbreak

South Africa's health department guarantees to start by next week the distribution of a drug to help fight an extremely virulent strain of tuberculosis. //

South Africa is being affected by an extremely virulent strain of tuberculosis, which has already taken its toll on 52 people in the country. The health officials have now promised that they would make available a drug by as early as next week to help fight the disease. The officials but also cautioned the public that there was no guarantee though that the drug would save lives, as they fear that it could prove itself to be ineffective in fighting the new super bug that threatens to worsen South Africa's HIV/AIDS crisis.

Charity Bhengu, a departmental spokeswoman said, “We don't have many drugs for TB to choose from simply because no major new inventions have been made for the past few decades.” It has been reported that the health department taking advice from experts in the field of medicine have signed a deal with the local pharmaceutical company Aspen to buy Capreomycin and are also negotiating with a second supplier for securing Para Amino Salicylic Acid.

It has been stated that though drugs are widely available globally for years, it is not so in South Africa and that these two drugs would increase the pool of treatment combination available here. It was also mentioned that in South Africa the only drug test that is available to study as to whether the drugs were working for ending or curing the highly resistant strain could be only to watch wait, which could take many months.

The health officials have explained that XDR-TB (extremely drug resistant) is a strain of tuberculosis, which is resistant to at least two primary drugs and three or more of second line drugs. According to Bhengu, “Wherever (the strain) is identified they will have access to the drugs. It's not a matter of whether we can afford it or not. The money is there.” She further said that the pr
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