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Discovering TuberculosisA Global History, 1900 to the Present$
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Christian W. McMillen

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300190298

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300190298.001.0001

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The Lost Promise of Antibiotics

The Lost Promise of Antibiotics

(p.138) 9. The Lost Promise of Antibiotics
Discovering Tuberculosis

Christian W. McMillen

Yale University Press

Despite developing a cheap and effective antibiotic regimen in trials, getting them to work in the real world proved tough. For a host of reasons, such as inadequate drug supplies, the confounding problem of primary drug resistance, a too lengthy regimen, and poor patience compliance, drug resistance in Kenya only got worse over time. The country, despite being under the constant scrutiny of the World Health Organization and the Medical Research Council, never managed to get a handle on drug-resistant TB. Without a proper infrastructure ensuring adequate drug supply, as well as doctor and patient compliance, antibiotics could do more harm than good. The WHO never faced up to the burgeoning drug-resistant TB epidemic in the 1970s. Then came AIDS.

Keywords:   drug resistance, compliance, antibiotics, Kenya, isoniazid

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