Ashgabat, 29 January 2020: Multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) treatment in Turkmenistan is free and provided with highly effective innovative TB drugs. However, any medicine has not only a therapeutic effect, but also the so-called side effects. Usually, side effects in treating MDR-TB are mild, do not require special treatment, and disappear on their own. Nevertheless, approximately 10% of people who receive treatment for tuberculosis may have more serious side effects when measures need to be taken to eliminate them and there may even be a need to interrupt the treatment.

“The treatment of TB and MDR-TB requires the use of many medicines that have side effects on the human body. It is these side effects, such as headache, nausea, itching, stomach pain, that are the main reason for the cessation of treatment and the patient’s unwillingness to take medication. According to the national MDR-TB treatment protocols, patients taking such treatment need to have a biochemical blood test every month. A biochemical blood test allows to identify side effects in a timely manner even before they occur,” explains Batyr Chapau, TB specialist at the UNDP and the Global Fund project.

The UNDP project funded by the Global Fund has purchased and installed Selectra Pro S biochemical analyzers in all regional TB hospitals of Turkmenistan. High-tech equipment conducts biochemical blood tests automatically, controlled by a computer. This ensures high accuracy and reliability of the results. As a result, it became possible to expand the range of biochemical analyzes, for example, to measure the electrolyte balance of the blood. Within one hour of operation, one device can examine up to 266 blood samples.

After installing Selectra Pro S, laboratory specialists in all TB hospitals completed a full course of training on analysis and maintenance skills. Upon completion of the training, laboratory specialists showed good results in instrument control, calibration procedures and interpretation of results.

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