SETTING: Since August 2016, after the Ebola outbreak, the Guinean National Tuberculosis Programme and Damien Foundation implemented the shorter treatment regimen (STR) for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in the three MDR-TB sites of Conakry. Previously, the longer regimen was used to treat MDR-TB.
OBJECTIVES: In a post-Ebola context, with a weakened health system, we describe the MDR-TB treatment uptake, patients characteristics, treatment outcomes and estimate the effect of using the longer versus STR on having a programmatically adverse outcome.
DESIGN: This is a retrospective cohort study in RR-TB patients treated with either the longer regimen or STR.
RESULTS: In Conakry, in 2016 and 2017, 131 and 219 patients were diagnosed with rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis (RR-TB); and 108 and 163 started treatment, respectively. Of 271 patients who started treatment, 75 were treated with the longer regimen and 196 with the STR. Patients characteristics were similar regardless of the regimen except that the median age was higher among those treated with a longer regimen (30 years (IQR:24-38) versus 26 years (IQR:21-39) for the STR. Patients treated with a STR were more likely to obtain a programmatically favorable outcome (74.0% vs 58.7%, p = 0.01) as lost to follow up was higher among those treated with a longer regimen (20.0% vs 8.2%, p = 0.006). Patients on a longer regimen were more than 2 times more likely (aOR: 2.5; 95%CI:1.3,4.7) to have a programmatically adverse outcome as well as being 45 years or older (aOR: 2.8; 95%CI:1.3,6.2), HIV positive (aOR:3.3; 95%CI:1.6,6.6) and attendance at a clinic without NGO support (aOR:3.0; 95%:1.6,5.7).
CONCLUSION: In Guinea, patients treated with the STR were more likely to have a successful outcome than those treated with the longer MDR-TB treatment regimen. Lost to follow-up was higher in patients on the longer regimen. However, STR treatment outcomes were less good than those reported in the region.