07:49pm Tuesday 25 February 2020

Strengthening tuberculosis control

A new toolkit to help countries improve their strategies for detecting, treating, and monitoring multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) has been published by PATH and the World Health Organization (WHO) with support from the US Agency for International Development.

The “MDR-TB Planning Toolkit,” endorsed for use by WHO in October 2011, was designed to help countries develop or strengthen the MDR-TB component of their national TB strategies and plans. The toolkit was officially launched during an October 27th workshop called “MDR-TB control: From assessment to action planning” at the 42nd annual Union World Conference on Lung Health in Lille, France.

Key steps in country planning

The toolkit is intended for countries, technical partners, international organizations, and donors who want to improve the prevention, detection, and treatment of MDR-TB. It contains guidance on important steps in the planning process for countries, including developing objectives for a strong MDR-TB program, identifying gaps in services, securing funding, and monitoring progress.

Toolkit already in use

Nearly 60 participants at the conference workshop got a firsthand look at the toolkit and hands-on practice in applying the toolkit components to different settings. Zimbabwe’s experience in piloting the toolkit was presented during a poster session by Dr. Charles Sandy, deputy director of the AIDS/TB program in the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Welfare.

In addition to Zimbabwe, the tool has already been used by TB programs at different levels in Mexico and India and in regional trainings for health care managers and consultants in South America and Asia.

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