A project to eliminate gastric cancer
A Japanese university will help Bhutan produce H.Pylori rapid test kits within five years.
Oita University in Japan on August 29 signed a memorandum of understanding with Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan (KGUMSB) for the five-year project.
The SAPTREP-AMED gastric cancer project between the two universities started in March this year and aims to establish a rapid (15 minute) diagnostic kit for H. Pylori at the Royal Center for Disease Control (RCDC).
RCDC chief Dr Sonam Wangchuk said Bhutan was buying test kits from other countries. “In partnership with Oita University and the companies manufacturing the test kits in Japan, the manufacturing capacity would be built at the RCDC.”
“We can produce the test kits that will meet our national needs,” he said.
Dr. Sonam Wangchuk said training and purchasing equipment, setting up a quality control procedure for test kits would be done in the first year.
“Production could take place in the later years of the project,” he said.
He said that through the establishment of a genomic analysis platform and the increase in the skills of researchers, rapid antimicrobial susceptibility tests (AST) will also be implemented against antimicrobial resistant H. pylori. .
Dr. Sonam Wangchuk said people who test positive for H. Pylori are given triple regimen drugs for 14 days. He said there is a probability of developing drug resistance. “But we have to study them.”
“As part of this project, we will also study whether the 14-day medical course could be reduced to seven days,” said Dr Sonam Wangchuk. “This could be possible if the effectiveness of the drugs turns out to be the same. Indeed, the shorter the drug treatment, the higher the compliance.
“The Institutional Capacity Building Project for the Elimination of Helicobacter pylori Related Deaths in Bhutan” in partnership with RCDC, JDWNRH and 8 other Japanese hospitals and universities is supported by the Japanese Ministry of Health and JICA.
The project will support the Bhutanese Gastroenterological Endoscopy Society and promote the development of endoscopies and medical facilities for the early detection of gastric cancer and its treatment, according to a press release from KGUMSB.
The project will also develop a guideline document for the diagnosis, treatment, early gastric detection and elimination of gastric cancer associated with H. pylori in the country.
According to the press release, the project will also conduct national surveillance for H. pylori infection using their innovations; rapid diagnostic kit, rapid AST and mobile application. Indeed, understanding the prevalence and rate of adherence to triple therapy medications is necessary to provide a roadmap for the elimination of H. pylori infection from Bhutan.
According to the press release, people’s awareness and understanding of the importance of H.pylori treatment to reduce the risk of gastric cancer is necessary to achieve the elimination goal.
“Therefore, advocacy and education on the prevention of H. pylori-associated gastric cancer will be conducted among the general public to complement the ongoing national gastric cancer flagship program,” he said.
The project is initiated to eliminate gastric cancer, which is one of the leading causes of cancer death in the country.