Tracking TB Treatment Adherence During COVID-19 In Burma

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Dr. Ni Ni Kyaw using the 99DOTS dashboard.
Dr. Ni Ni Kyaw using the 99DOTS dashboard.

Due to movement restrictions in Burma during the COVID-19 pandemic, patient access to continued TB treatment has been largely reduced, which impacts successfully treating TB and increases the risk of drug-resistant forms of TB. In order to mitigate this problem, USAID introduced and supports the 99DOTS tool, implemented by PSI/Myanmar through the Essential Health bilateral project. The 99DOTS tool enables private health care providers to track TB patients’ adherence to treatment regimens. Doctors were able to provide multi-month supplies of treatment to TB patients in advance, and then track and remind patients to adhere to their regimens through the 99DOTS platform. With USAID’s support, Burma’s National TB Program is now planning to pilot 99DOTS in their public health care facilities.

According to Dr. Ni Ni Kyaw, one of the pioneers of the 99DOTS project, “This is so advanced yet simple; I believe my patients will love it.” She consistently uses 99DOTS to track her TB patients’ adherence, as “the application is amazingly helpful and supportive to ensure patient adherence especially in this COVID-19 crisis. Without this app, it would not be possible to remind and track adherence.”

She recalled that during a follow-up visit, one of her patients marvelled at how useful his phone was and said, “Throughout the treatment period, I’ve deeply felt that I have been under [quality] care and am delighted to have a reminder using a high-tech system, although I cannot meet with Sayama in person due to COVID-19.”

Dr. Ni Ni Kyaw using the 99DOTS dashboard.
Dr. Ni Ni Kyaw using the 99DOTS dashboard.

Last updated: September 15, 2020

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