Ecuador: New Strategy to Eradicate Country from Tuberculosis

Posted on March 15, 2017 • Filed under: Ecuador, Ecuador Emergency, Latin America Health / Diego Mosquera. Quito
With the aim of eradicating tuberculosis (TB) in Ecuador, the Ministry of Public Health has changed the strategy to combat this disease through some changes in the Clinical Practice Guide and the incorporation of a manual with new procedures.

According to data from the entity, Ecuador ranks sixth in the countries with the highest tuberculosis burden in the Americas. In the year 2016, 5,465 cases of tuberculosis were reported in all forms, of which 4,533 correspond to pulmonary tuberculosis.

In addition, according to the information, more than 150 drug-resistant TB patients were registered , 715 cases of tuberculosis in people living with HIV, 184 cases of tuberculosis in Private Deprivation (PPL), and 172 cases in those under 15 years.

The project

Ronald Cedeño, responsible for the new national strategy for tuberculosis , explained to MEDICAL EDUCATION that this new plan includes the scientific update for diagnosis and treatment, and in this sense change some points of the Guide of Clinical Practice for prevention, control , Diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

In addition, a new manual of procedures for the prevention and control of TB , approved by ministerial agreement on March 1, 2017, has been approved and in the next few days will be available to all health professionals.

“A challenge for us is to make health personnel aware that TB still exists in Ecuador and is a problem that can be treated without stigmatizing patients. That is why it is important for health professionals to remember that we are an endemic country and we have a high prevalence of TB, the challenge is to achieve less than 1 case per 100 thousand inhabitants in Ecuador, ” he commented.



Among the actions that are already being implemented are the strengthening of TB diagnosis through the acquisition of state-of-the-art equipment such as real-time PCR and MGIT that allow obtaining results with high sensitivity and specificity in a short time.

Cedeño has indicated the repowering of laboratories in health facilities that have a high resolution capacity and expansion of the portfolio of services with the implementation of new health facilities.


According to the official is guaranteed the supply of anti-tuberculosis drugs first and second line, currently stock with until March 2018.

“For the strategy to work, we also implement the shortened scheme (Bangladesh Scheme) in the country, which will allow those affected with ‘Drug Resistant Tuberculosis’ to reduce their treatment from 18 to 9 months, this treatment scheme goes into effect in Ecuador since June 2017, “he said.

Social issues

In this sense Cedeño has commented that in the plan is planned to organize support groups among patients with TB that give the patient a motivation to join the treatment, “at first the effects are adverse and there are patients who leave, these groups are Conformed by the same patients and give emotional support until the crises pass, remember that the month of treatment the patient is no longer contagious, “he said.

Socialization of the new plan

Cedeño explained that during the next three months there will be training for health teams at all levels, with the aim of publicizing and explaining the new procedures contained in the manual we have prepared.

The data

In the region of the Americas by 2015, a rate of 27.1 per 100,000 inhabitants was estimated and a rate of 22.1 per 100,000 inhabitants was reported, indicating a gap of approximately 50,000 cases that have not been identified. Read Article

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