New WHO recommendations to accelerate progress on tuberculosis

WHO has published new directions to improve the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). WHO recommends switching to a fully oral regimen for treating people with MDR-TB. This new treatment is more effective and less likely to cause unwanted side effects. The WHO recommends strengthening treatment with active drug safety surveillance and providing psychological support to help patients complete their treatment.

The recommendations are part of a larger set of actions designed to help countries accelerate the pace of progress in TB control and published before World TB Day.

"The theme of this year's World TB Day is: it's time to end TB," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. "We stress the urgent need to translate the commitments made at the 2018 High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis into action to ensure that all people in need of TB care can obtain it."

Since 2000, 54 million lives have been saved and the number of deaths from TB has been reduced by one third. However, every year, 10 million people still contract TB and too many of them do not receive life-saving care.

The WHO program is designed to help countries fill gaps in care by ensuring that no one is left behind. Key elements include:

  • An accountability framework to coordinate actions in all sectors and to monitor and review progress
  • A dashboard to help countries learn more about their own outbreaks through real-time monitoring – moving to electronic TB surveillance systems.
  • A guide to setting effective priorities for planning and implementing effective TB interventions, based on analyzes of patient pathways to access care.
  • New WHO guidelines on infection control and preventive treatment of latent TB infections
  • Civil society working group to ensure effective and meaningful engagement of civil society

"It is a set of pragmatic actions that countries can use to accelerate progress and follow up on the high-level commitments made at the first UN high-level meeting on TB last September," he said. Dr. Tereza Kasaeva, Director of WHO's Global Tuberculosis Program.

On March 22, key partners will gather at WHO in Geneva for the World TB Day Symposium to develop a multi-stakeholder and multisectoral collaborative platform to accelerate counter-terrorism efforts. tuberculosis. WHO will present the new package at the meeting.

Tuberculosis is the leading killer of infectious diseases in the world, killing 4,500 people a day. The heaviest burden is borne by communities facing socio-economic challenges, those who work and live in high-risk environments, the poorest and the most marginalized.

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