The new WHO framework highlights the effectiveness of eight key interventions, in a coherent package for impact in the target countries:
2. Address most vulnerable and hard-to-reach groups;
3. Address special needs of migrants; cross-border issues;
4. Undertake screening for active TB and latent TB infection in high-risk groups and provide appropriate treatment; manage outbreaks;
5. Optimize MDR-TB prevention and care;
6. Ensure continued surveillance and programme monitoring and evaluation
7. Invest in research and new tools;
8. Support global TB control.
Among the most vulnerable groups are people who are poor or homeless, migrants, and members of ethnic minorities. In addition, people who use drugs or are incarcerated, and people with compromised immune systems (e.g. people living with HIV, malnutrition, diabetes, smokers and heavy drinkers) all have a much greater risk of falling ill with TB. Many of these vulnerable groups face barriers in accessing health services.
Addressing tuberculosis in the context of cross-border migration can also pose a significant challenge to health service providers. Many undergoing a course of TB treatment may have no option but to relocate for work, even if they have not completed their TB treatment. "Countries with a low incidence of TB are uniquely positioned to reach historically low levels of TB," adds Dr Mario Raviglione, Director of WHO's Global TB Programme. "They can serve as global trailblazers."
Globalization and increased population movements enable TB - an airborne infectious disease - to continue to spread across communities and countries. To eliminate the disease in low-burden countries it will be vital
|Contact: Lauren Anderson|
European Lung Foundation