On Friday 15 November 2013, Khayelitsha resident, Zoliswa Mkiva,
took her last dose of tuberculosis (TB) treatment before being declared cured
of Extreme Drug Resistant (XDR) TB and discharged from the Nolungile Clinic.
The 32-year-old mother of one was diagnosed with pre-Extreme Drug
Resistant TB in February 2012. She was admitted to the Lizo Nobanda TB Care
Centre where Mkiva entered a pilot study being conducted by the City of Cape
Town with the Western Cape Department of Health and Doctors Without Borders
She completed the two-year period of
treatment and on Friday became the third Khayelitsha resident to officially
beat XDR TB after maintaining negative sputum cultures for 20 months.
Earlier this year (August 2013), 23-year-old Phumeza Tisile and
19-year-old Aviwe Jacobs were also declared cured of XDR TB after enrolment in
this pilot study and undergoing similar extensive treatment at the Zakhele
Clinic in Khayelitsha.
The study results are being pooled
with similar studies worldwide.
The latest success comes just weeks after the World Health
Organisation and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
called for partnerships between various role-players to do research to speed up
gathering evidence of what works – be it new diagnostics, new drugs or new ways
of implementing policies.
‘The City of Cape Town is doing just that and has a valued
partnership with MSF to identify patients not responding to the current drug
resistant TB treatment to enrol them into a study where new drugs are added.
Our experience in Khayelitsha is added to the experience of other centres to
ensure that proof of efficacy is obtained as soon as possible.
‘In the meantime we are happy that, whilst contributing to this
body of evidence, we managed to save the lives of three young people and at the
same time demystify XDR and bring hope to sufferers.
‘The results of this study demonstrate that, by working together
and partnering with residents and other organisations, positive results can be
truly felt. This is in keeping with our commitment to building a caring city,’
said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Health, Councillor Lungiswa James.
For more information on tuberculosis and the City Health’s efforts
to reduce the infection rate, visit the city’s health pages here.
(Photo of doctors looking at X-ray from Shutterstock)