Low birth weight in Papua New Guinea is a killer. Help us research what is causing low birth weight in PNG so that we can stop it.
Setting: Bedaquiline (BDQ) was introduced in the multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) programme in Daru in remote Papua New Guinea in 2015, along with a core package of active drug-safety monitoring (aDSM). Objective: To assess interim results and safety of BDQ for the treatment of MDR-TB from 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2017. Design: A retrospective cohort analysis of routine programme data. Results: Of 277 MDR-TB patients, 77 (39%) received BDQ with a total of 8 serious adverse events including 5 (6.5%) deaths, of which 1 (1.3% QTcF prolongation, grade 3) was attributable to BDQ. Of 200 (61%) patients who did not receive BDQ, there were 17 (9%) deaths. Completeness of monitoring for the BDQ group was 90% for 5 electrocardiograms and 79% for 2 cultures. In the interim result indicator analysis at month 6 in the BDQ and non-BDQ groups, there were respectively 0% and 1% lost to follow-up; 6.5% and 8.5% who died; 94% and 91% in care; and 92% and 96% with negative culture among those monitored. Conclusion: Early experience in Daru shows BDQ is safe and feasible to implement with aDSM with good interim effectiveness supporting the rapid adoption and scale-up of the 2019 WHO MDR-TB treatment guidelines in the programme and in similar remote settings.