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Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2007 May; 85(5):325-420.In 1991, the 44th World Health Assembly set two key targets for global tuberculosis (TB) control to be reached by 2000: 70% case detection of acid-fast bacilli smear-positive TB patients under the DOTS strategy recommended by WHO and 85% treatment success of those detected. This paper describes how TB control was scaled up to achieve these targets; it also considers the barriers encountered in reaching the targets, with a particular focus on how HIV infection affects TB control. Strong TB control will be facilitated by scaling-up WHO-recommended TB/HIV collaborative activities and by improving coordination between HIV and TB control programmes; in particular, to ensure control of drug-resistant TB. Required activities include more HIV counselling and testing of TB patients, greater use and acceptance of isoniazid as a preventive treatment in HIV-infected individuals, screening for active TB in HIV-care settings, and provision of universal access to antiretroviral treatment for all HIV-infected individuals eligible for such treatment. Integration of TB and HIV services in all facilities (i.e. in HIV-care settings and in TB clinics), especially at the periphery, is needed to effectively treat those infected with both diseases, to prolong their survival and to maximize limited human resources. Global TB targets can be met, particularly if there is renewed attention to TB/HIV collaborative activities combined with tremendous political commitment and will. (author's)
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2007 May; 85(5):325-420.Laboratories and laboratory networks are a fundamental component of tuberculosis (TB) control, providing testing for diagnosis, surveillance and treatment monitoring at every level of the health-care system. New initiatives and resources to strengthen laboratory capacity and implement rapid and new diagnostic tests for TB will require recognition that laboratories are systems that require quality standards, appropriate human resources, and attention to safety in addition to supplies and equipment. To prepare the laboratory networks for new diagnostics and expanded capacity, we need to focus efforts on strengthening quality management systems (QMS) through additional resources for external quality assessment programmes for microscopy, culture, drug susceptibility testing (DST) and molecular diagnostics. QMS should also promote development of accreditation programmes to ensure adherence to standards to improve both the quality and credibility of the laboratory system within TB programmes. Corresponding attention must be given to addressing human resources at every level of the laboratory, with special consideration being given to new programmes for laboratory management and leadership skills. Strengthening laboratory networks will also involve setting up partnerships between TB programmes and those seeking to control other diseases in order to pool resources and to promote advocacy for quality standards, to develop strategies to integrate laboratories' functions and to extend control programme activities to the private sector. Improving the laboratory system will assure that increased resources, in the form of supplies, equipment and facilities, will be invested in networks that are capable of providing effective testing to meet the goals of the Global Plan to Stop TB. (author's)
Instructions for applying to the Green Light Committee for access to second-line anti-tuberculosis drugs.
[Geneva, Switzerland], World Health Organization [WHO], 2006. 15 p. (WHO/HTM/TB/2006.369)Controlling multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is one of the six components of the WHO Stop TB strategy. Although prevention must be the highest priority for TB control programmes, many countries have patients with drug-resistant TB who must be treated too. Such countries should take specific measures to gradually incorporate appropriate strategies for treatment of this form of tuberculosis into their programmes and prevent propagation of drug-resistant TB. Misuse of second-line anti-TB drugs results in further resistance to these same second-line drugs, creating incurable forms of tuberculosis. It is imperative that second-line anti-TB drugs are used wisely. The WHO Guidelines For The Programmatic Management of Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (herein after referred to as the Guidelines) provide recommendations for appropriate management of drug-resistant TB so as not to generate further drug resistance. To help programmes develop and implement develop and implement strategies for the management of drug resistant TB, the Green Light Committee for Access to Second-line Anti-tuberculosis Drugs (GLC) was created by WHO and its partners in January 2000. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2005.  p. (Integrating STI / RTI Care for Reproductive Health; USAID Development Experience Clearinghouse DocID / Order No: PN-ADC-591)This Guide is intended to be a reference manual, and a resource to educate and to remind health care workers of the need to consider STIs/RTIs when providing other reproductive health services. It recommends prevention and care practices for patients who have or may be at risk of acquiring a reproductive tract infection. As such, it could be used for preservice or in-service health provider education and training, as a source of up-to-date, evidence-based recommendations, and as a selfeducation tool for health care providers on the prevention, treatment, and diagnosis of RTIs. Programme managers can use it as a starting-point for improving policies, programmes and training on the prevention and management of STI/RTI, adapting the information and recommendations as needed to local conditions. The information is grouped according to “reasons for visit”. Providers are encouraged to consider the possibility of STI/RTI, educate and counsel clients about prevention, and offer necessary treatment. Providers can use the Guide as a whole, or focus on the sections that are relevant to their daily practice. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2003 Jun.  p.This report sets out to provide market information that can be used to help procurement agencies make informed decisions on the source of medicines and serve as the basis for negotiating affordable prices. The aim is to help increase access to medicines for people living with HIV/ AIDS in developing countries. The data provided by the manufacturers serves to highlight the multiplicity of suppliers and the variation in price of some essential HIV/AIDS-related medicines on the international market. Without this information, there is a risk that low-income countries may be paying more than needed to obtain essential medicines. Price variations are highlighted through the tables and graphs included. Provision of price information addresses only one barrier to access to medicines in countries with limited resources and, it is appreciated that many other factors will affect the availability of medicines. Some of the other issues that must be considered in relation to the purchase of medicines for HIV/AIDS and related conditions are health infrastructure, human resources, and supply and distribution systems. (excerpt)
Challenges for communicable disease surveillance and control in southern Iraq, April-June 2003. Letter from Basrah.
JAMA. 2003 Aug 6; 290(5):654-658.The recent war in Iraq presents significant challenges for the surveillance and control of communicable diseases. In early April 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) sent a team of public health experts to Kuwait and a base was established in the southern Iraqi governorate of Basrah on May 3. We present the lessons learned from the communicable disease surveillance and control program implemented in the Basrah governorate in Iraq (population of 1.9 million) in April and May 2003, and we report communicable disease surveillance data through June 2003. Following the war, communicable disease control programs were disrupted, access to safe water was reduced, and public health facilities were looted. Rapid health assessments were carried out in health centers and hospitals to identify priorities for action. A Health Sector Coordination Group was organized with local and international health partners, and an early warning surveillance system for communicable disease was set up. In the first week of May 2003, physicians in hospitals in Basrah suspected cholera cases and WHO formed a cholera control committee. As of June 29, 2003, Iraqi hospital laboratories have con firmed 94 cases of cholera from 7 of the 8 districts of the Basrah governorate. To prevent the transmission of major communicable diseases, restoring basic public health and water/sanitation services is currently a top priority in Iraq. Lack of security continues to be a barrier for effective public health surveillance and response in Iraq. (author's)
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Global Tuberculosis Programme, 1997. , 35 p. (WHO/TB/96.216)Drug resistance is becoming an increasing threat to the effectiveness of national tuberculosis programs in many parts of the world. Knowledge of the prevalence of antituberculosis drug resistance is essential for evaluating and improving national tuberculosis control efforts. However, there are few rigorously documented, directly comparable statistics in this area. This document presents guidelines to assist national programs in adopting standardized methods for drug resistance surveillance. This surveillance should adhere to three principles: 1) the sample of specimens should be representative of the patients from the area under study and the sample size should be determined to permit standard epidemiologic analyses, 2) the patient's history should be carefully obtained and available medical records reviewed to clearly determine whether the patient has received prior antituberculosis drugs in order to distinguish between primary and acquired drug resistance, and 3) the laboratory materials for susceptibility testing of antituberculosis drugs should be selected from among those that are internationally recommended. This report includes chapters on choice of drugs, definitions of resistance, laboratories and diagnostic centers, sampling strategies, organization of surveys, intake of patients, the national reference laboratory, and data management and analysis.
Prevention of tuberculosis in children. Detection and chemotherapy of infectious cases of tuberculosis.
CHILDREN IN THE TROPICS. 1992; (196-197):60-9.Prevention of tuberculosis (TB) in children in developing countries involves 3 interventions: detection and treatment of sources of infection, i.e., adults with pulmonary TB; BCG vaccination of newborns to prevent primary infection and its complications; and prophylactic treatment of newly infected infants. The first element of prevention is reviewed here. In less developed areas, detection and diagnosis of TB entails education of the public and of health providers so that people with chronic cough have sputum sent to regional laboratories for microscopic examination. Rarely, x-ray facilities may also be used. Quality control of laboratory work and universal coverage are essential. The proportion of actual cases of TB diagnosed by microscopy ranges from 5 to 10% in African and Latin American countries to 25% in Asian countries, depending on the prevalence of TB, the age structure of the population, and the quality of the laboratories. Calculated rates of detection are 60-90% however. There are 3 types of infectious TB cases; new cases with smear-positive pulmonary TB (80-90%), previously treated cases who are true or false failures or relapses, and chronic TB cases who probably have resistant organisms. In developing countries, the last group will probably not receive second-line drugs because of the cost, but will be treated with isoniazid alone and are considered unlikely to recover. At the end of standardized treatment, there are 6 classes of patients: cured cases, probable cures, failures or relapses, decreased, lost to follow-up, and move to another district for care. World Health Organization objectives for rate of cure will probably be modified in given countries due to financial limitations.
WORLD HEALTH. 1991 Sep-Oct; 12.A researcher with WHO's Tropical Disease Research Programme reviews techniques used to diagnose malaria. Present techniques have not improved much since a French physician 1st used a microscope in 1880 to examine blood from a sick soldier and then noticed the parasites of Plasmodium falciparum. Yet optical quality has improved and special stains can now be used to color the parasites making them more recognizable. In fact, at a magnification of 600-700 times, a scientist can identify all 4 plasmodia, the blood forms of the plasmodia, and count the plasmodia. Blood samples and a microscope allow physicians to monitor the ill person's progress after they began treatment. Yet a microscope and the needed laboratory skills and other resources are not always present in health center in a village in countries where malaria is endemic. It is here where simple and effective techniques are needed the most. 1 approach is to detect antibodies to the plasmodia, but this takes much time. In addition, antibodies are only present after an individual has been infected for a relatively long time. Thus this technique cannot detect malaria early enough to provide proper treatment. Another approach readily identifies antigens. Yet the techniques required are complicated and require a lot of time. Besides antigen techniques are not as reliable as microscopic diagnosis. Researchers are presently experimenting on simple visual methods which are quick, inexpensive, and reliable. Molecules in the plasmodia which are in a small amount of blood will either react or not react with reagents incorporated on a dipstick or card. Thus physicians can detect what plasmodia are present and estimate parasite load. Another test can inform the physicians what antimalarial to prescribe and how much and resistance of the plasmodia to the antimalarial.
Washington, D.C., National Academy Press, 1988. x, 239 p.The Committee for the Oversight of AIDS Activities presents an update to and review of the progress made since the publication 1 1/2 years ago of Confronting Aids. Chapter 1 discusses the special nature of AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) as an incurable fatal infection, striking mainly young adults (particularly homosexuals and intravenous drug users), and clustering in geographic areas, e.g., New York and San Francisco. Chapter 2 states conclusively that HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) causes AIDS and that HIV infection leads inevitably to AIDS, that sexual contact and contaminated needles are the main vehicles of transmission, and that the future composition of AIDS patients (62,000 in the US) will be among poor, urban minorities. Chapter 3 discusses the utility of mathematical models in predicting the future course of the epidemic. Chapter 4 discusses the negative impact of discrimination, the importance of education (especially of intravenous drug users), and the need for improved diagnostic tests. It maintains that screening should generally be confidential and voluntary, and mandatory only in the case of blood, tissue, and organ donors. It also suggests that sterile needles be made available to drug addicts. Chapter 5 stresses the special care needs of drug users, children, and the neurologically impaired; discusses the needs and responsibilities of health care providers; and suggests ways of distributing the financial burden of AIDS among private and government facilities. Chapter 6 discusses the nomenclature and reproductive strategy of the virus and the needs for basic research, facilities and funding to develop new drugs and possibly vaccines. Chapter 7 discusses the global nature of the epidemic, the responsibilities of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Program on AIDS, the need for the US to pay for its share of the WHO program, and the special responsibility that the US should assume in view of its resources in scientific personnel and facilities. Chapter 8 recommends the establishment of a national commission on AIDS with advisory responsibility for all aspects of AIDS. There are 4 appendices: Appendix A summarizes the 1986 publication Confronting Aids; Appendix B reprints the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) classification scheme for HIV infections; Appendix C is a list of the 60 correspondents who prepared papers for the AIDS Activities Oversight Committee; and Appendix D gives biographical sketches of the Committee members.
[The Collaborating Centers of the World Health Organization and AIDS: report of a meeting of the World Health Organization] Les Centres Collaborateurs de l'OMS et le SIDA: memorandum d'une reunion de l'OMS.
BULLETIN OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. 1986; 64(1):63-8.The World Health Organization (WHO) meeting on acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) held in Geneva in September 1985 stressed the importance of the WHO collaborating centers in the worldwide struggle against AIDS. The network of collaborating centers was established after and April 1985 WHO meeting to facilitate international cooperation in training of laboratory personnel, supplying reference reactives, evaluating diagnostic tests, and organizing activities to establish the natural history of the disease in different parts of the world. The AIDS virus is transmitted during sexual intercourse, by parenteral exposure to blood or contaminated blood products, or from the mother to the infant during the perinatal period. In the US and Western Europe, over 90% of victims are still homosexual and bisexual men, intravenous drug users, and their sexual partners, but in many developing countries heterosexuals with active sex lives are the main victims. There are no indications that the virus is spread by casual contact or by insect vectors. Health authorities of all countries should establish surveillance programs to measure the extent of AIDS infection. A precise case definition including only the most serious manifestations of the disease should be used. The US Centers for Disease Control definition has been approved for countries with appropriate diagnostic capabilities. Only immunological diagnostic methods are practical for large scale routine testing. Radioimmunological and immunoenzymatic titers are the most frequently used routine testing procedures. They are very sensitive, but because of the possibility of false positive results, confirmation using another test is needed for individuals belonging to low risk populations. The Western blot or other immunoblotting tests are most often used for confirmation. Progress in laboratory diagnosis would be furthered if international reference standards, simpler diagnostic tests, and other measures were made avaliable. Until drugs capable of preventing and treating AIDS become available, prevention will depend mainly on reduction of risks based on information and education. Cases of AIDS spread by blood transfusion can be eliminated by excluding donors belonging to high-risk groups and by testing the blood for antibodies before transfusion. Reuse of nonsterile needles and syringes should be absolutely avoided. Despite efforts to identify an effective agent for treatment of AIDS, no substance has been found as yet that supplies more than a transitory arrest of viral replication. Interferon has been shown to be effective against Kaposi's sarcoma. New antiviral agents should be careful studied in conformity with accepted protocols for drug evaluation. Numerous attempts to develop an anti-AIDS vaccine are underway. The heterogeneity of the virus poses a significant problem. Several specific recommendations for its 1986-87 program were made to further the role of the WHO as a centraL clearinghouse for AIDS information.
[Record of the second meeting of the WHO Collaborating Centers on AIDS] Deuxieme reunion des centres collaborateurs de l'OMS pour le SIDA: memorandum d'une reunion de l'OMS.
BULLETIN OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. 1986; 64(2):221-31.Participants at the 2nd meeting of World Health Organization (WHO) collaborating centers on AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) held in Geneva in December 1985 reported on progress since the 1st meeting in September 1985 and made a number of recommendations for future action in the areas of information, education, and prevention; reference reactants and tests of anti-HTLV-III antibodies; epidemiologic evaluation; and research on vaccines and antiviral agents. It was recommended that ministries of health, education, and social services provide the public with timely and accurate information on AIDS, that physicians, nurses, and similar personnel inform the ill and the public about AIDS and its prevention, and that school age children and young people be informed about AIDS and how to avoid infection. Systems of registration of AIDS cases should be implemented in order to provide the WHO and member states with data on the international level. Standardization and availability of serologic tests is also required. Instructions for avoiding infection should be provided for health personnel and others caring for AIDS patients, for individuals providing personal services to the public, and to ensure adequate methods of disinfection. Instructions for preventing AIDS should discuss sexual and parenteral transmission as well as perinatal transmission. Specific recommendations for education and family placement for children with AIDS have already been published. Instructions should be provided for prisons and similar estabilshments. Requiring international travellers to provide certificates attesting to their AIDS-free status is not justified as a preventive measure. The significant existing demand for reference reactants including human serums with anit-HTLV-III antibodies and controls is being addressed by several institutes in different countries, but it would be premature to furnish reference reactants other than serums. The WHO collaborating centers should furnish materials for purposes of training in diagnostic techniques. Existing tests for diagnosis and confirmation should be imporved and new tests should be developed, with particular attention to simple methods appropriate for use in developing countries. It will be necessary to establish international biological standards for the HTLV-III virus, but the required specifications are not yet known. Technical cooperation and epidemiological evaluation must be planned separately, based on the different prevalence of infections and technical expertise of different countries. A clinical definition of AIDS is needed for countries lacking resources needed to apply the Centers for Disease Control/WHO definition. Surveillance methods and laboratories can be installed with WHO assistance, to help evaluate the extent of AIDS infection in different countries. Later technical cooperation in the areas of continued surveillance and laboratory capacities will depend on results of the initial evaluation in each country. Research is currently underway in several countries of possible vaccines and drugs. Careful preclinical studies should be done to evaluate the toxicity of an agent before clinical studies are conducted. Convenient animal models should be sought for future research. 3 annexes to this report specify methods of disinfection; general principles of preventing transmission of the AIDS virus through parenteral exposure or following donation of organs, sperm, or other tissue; and a proposed definition of clinical cases of AIDS.