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TB Care and Management
Take That TB!

Take That TB!

A group from around Europe and Australia have established a website that seeks to build a meeting area ‘From Patients For Patients’. The group of former patients created the site, Take That TB, with the intention of making it easier for greater exchange of difficulties and successes between patients and for improved discussion about their experiences with TB. The site also serves as a chatroom for those in isolation. In the fight against TB it is so important for former patients and current patients alike to share their stories and experiences. As is stated on the website: ‘TB does not only have a weak face or a poor face, TB has many faces and many languages and can be found everywhere in the world. We want to show that cured TB can help people become strong.’  While taking action in order to push for better diagnostics and treatment is undoubtedly crucial and necessary, it is equally important that those who are suffering find the support networks needed to help combat not only their TB but also TB throughout the world. By offering this support, the site will also help raise awareness and remove the stigma surrounding TB in a range of communities More…

Romania approves National Plan for MDR-TB Prevention and Management

Romania approves National Plan for MDR-TB Prevention and Management

European Commissioner on Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli, and WHO Europe Regional Director, Zsuzanna Jakab, were in Romania last week to participate in the announcement of Romania’s 2012-2015 National Plan for Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) Prevention and Management. Also in attendance were representatives from the Romanian Ministry of Health, the American, Norwegian, and Swiss Embassies as well as many representatives from Romanian civil society organisations. These included, amongst others, the Romanian Angel Appeal, the Romanian MDR-TB Patient’s Association, and the National Union of Organisations for People Affected by HIV/AIDS. One of those in attendance, Dr. Silvia Asandi, General Director of the Romanian Angel Appeal, praised the approval of the plan, but cautioned that: “Right now, the Ministry of Health does not possess the legal and financial leverage in order to sub-contract the services provided by the non-governmental organizations for prevention, care and social support activities which, in other countries, are carried out exclusively by NGOs. In order to reach our goal and fight tuberculosis, we need to work together! There are places that only NGOs can reach – poor, isolated, vulnerable communities, with no access to basic medical services and where the Ministry of Health programs are hardly implemented.” More…

First TB information center opens in Lithuania

First TB information center opens in Lithuania

The first “stop TB” information center opened in Lithuania last week. The center opened in order to provide valuable psychological counselling to both patients and their loved ones, pulmonologist advice, along with general information about TB.

European Union Standards of Care for TB Developed

European Union Standards of Care for TB Developed

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Respiratory Society (ERS) have jointly developed the ‘European Union Standards for Tuberculosis Care (ESTC)’, standards intended to guide clinicians and public health workers to delivery optimal prevention, diagnosis and treatment of TB. After gaps in case management were identified in a recent survey, a panel of 30 international experts worked to produce the 21 standards adapted for EU settings and practices. TB kills seven people in Europe every hour and 74,000 cases of TB were identified in the EU/EEA in 2010 alone, clearly demonstrating that TB continues to be a European public health threat. Drug resistant strains of TB in particular continue to pose a significant challenge to public health in some European countries. Drug resistant TB occurs when TB cases are inappropriately managed and there is a failure to ensure that patients complete their full course of treatment. Multidrug- and extensively-drug resistant TB, strains which are resistant to first and second line drugs respectively, are much more costly and difficult – sometimes even impossible – to treat. Diagnosing and treating TB cases early and appropriately saves lives and translates into value for money by avoiding the emergence More…

Programme Management in TB Control training for Kyrgyz TB specialists in Latvia

From 11 until 21 July 2011, 5 TB specialists from Kyrgyzstan attended the 13th regional training course on KNCV/WHO programme management in TB Control in Riga, Latvia. A Global Fund’s grant, implemented b UNDP in Kyrgyzstan: “Consolidation and expansion of DOTS in Kyrgyzstan by providing access to diagnosis and treatment of drug-resistant form of tuberculosis” allowed for the training in the Latvian capital. The course, which combined theoretical skills and practical exercises, aimed at covering various issues related to TB control programmes management, such as for instance pediatric TB issues. For more information on the training course, and testimonies of the trainees, see: Bulletin of the Global Fund grants Programme Implementation Unit

The rapid resurgence of TB in London

Tuberculosis is commonly perceived as an eradicated disease by many in the West. However, TB rates have slowly been increasing over the last couple of decades and are now making a significant and aggressive comeback. A new wave of TB is spreading across London. Could this turn into a health crisis and should people be concerned? According to an interesting article published by The Australian, the answer to both these questions may be yes. TB presents a particluar threat to certain groups in society. For healthy adults with a strong immune system, the risk of developing active TB remains relatively low. Known as a disease closely associated with poverty and exclusion, those most susceptable to TB are the homeless and prisoners. It is reported that at least one case is found every other week among these high risk London populations, leaving the affected with severe health impairments. Alistair Story, the nurse in charge of Britain’s single mobile TB detection unit, is quoted by The Australian as saying that this combination of multiple risk factors forms “an unholy alliance between compromised immunity, shared airspace and un- detected cases, and a lifestyle that masks the presentation of the disease.” To further complicate the matter, More…

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