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Progress Toward Eliminating Mother to Child Transmission of HIV in Kenya: Review of Treatment Guideline Uptake and Pediatric Transmission at Four Government Hospitals Between 2010 and 2012.
AIDS and Behavior. 2016 Nov; 20(11):2602-2611.We analyzed prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) data from a retrospective cohort of n = 1365 HIV+ mothers who enrolled their HIV-exposed infants in early infant diagnosis services in four Kenyan government hospitals from 2010 to 2012. Less than 15 and 20 % of mother-infant pairs were provided with regimens that met WHO Option A and B/B+ guidelines, respectively. Annually, the gestational age at treatment initiation decreased, while uptake of Option B/B+ increased (all p's < 0.001). Pediatric HIV infection was halved (8.6-4.3 %), yet varied significantly by hospital. In multivariable analyses, HIV-exposed infants who received no PMTCT (AOR 4.6 [2.49, 8.62], p < 0.001), mixed foods (AOR 5.0 [2.77, 9.02], p < 0.001), and care at one of the four hospitals (AOR 3.0 [1.51, 5.92], p = 0.002) were more likely to be HIV-infected. While the administration and uptake of WHO PMTCT guidelines is improving, an expanded focus on retention and medication adherence will further reduce pediatric HIV transmission.
Program Implementation of Option B+ at a President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief-Supported HIV Clinic Improves Clinical Indicators But Not Retention in Care in Mbarara, Uganda.
AIDS Patient Care and STDs. 2017 Aug; 31(8):335-341.2013 WHO guidelines for prevention of mother to child transmission recommend combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) for all pregnant women, regardless of CD4 count (Option B/B+). We conducted a retrospective analysis of data from a government-operated HIV clinic in Mbarara, Uganda before and after implementation of Option B+ to assess the impact on retention in care. We limited our analysis to women not on ART at the time of their first reported pregnancy with CD4 count >350. We fit regression models to estimate relationships between calendar period (Option A vs. Option B+) and the primary outcome of interest, retention in care. One thousand and sixty-two women were included in the analysis. Women were more likely to start ART within 6 months of pregnancy in the Option B+ period (68% vs. 7%, p < 0.0001) and had significantly greater increases in CD4 count 1 year after pregnancy (+172 vs. -5 cells, p < 0.001). However, there was no difference in the proportion of women retained in care 1 year after pregnancy (73% vs. 70%, p = 0.34). In models adjusted for age, distance to clinic, marital status, and CD4 count, Option B+ was associated with a nonsignificant 30% increased odds of retention in care at 1 year [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.30, 95% CI 0.98-1.73, p = 0.06]. After transition to an Option B+ program, pregnant women with CD4 count >350 were more likely to initiate combination therapy; however, interventions to mitigate losses from HIV care during pregnancy are needed to improve the health of women, children, and families.
Improving Adherence to Essential Birth Practices Using the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist With Peer Coaching: Experience From 60 Public Health Facilities in Uttar Pradesh, India.
Global Health: Science and Practice. 2017 Jun 27; 5(2):217-231.BACKGROUND: Adherence to evidence-based essential birth practices is critical for improving health outcomes for mothers and newborns. The WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist (SCC) incorporates these practices, which occur during 4 critical pause points: on admission, before pushing (or cesarean delivery), soon after birth, and before discharge. A peer-coaching strategy to support consistent use of the SCC may be an effective approach to increase birth attendants' adherence to these practices. METHODS: We assessed data from 60 public health facilities in Uttar Pradesh, India, that received an 8-month staggered coaching intervention from December 2014 to September 2016 as part of the BetterBirth Trial, which is studying effectiveness of an SCC-centered intervention on maternal and neonatal harm. Nurse coaches recorded birth attendants' adherence to 39 essential birth practices. Practice adherence was calculated for each intervention month. After 2 months of coaching, a subsample of 15 facilities was selected for independent observation when the coach was not present. We compared adherence to the 18 practices recorded by both coaches and independent observers. RESULTS: Coaches observed birth attendants' behavior during 5,971 deliveries. By the final month of the intervention, 35 of 39 essential birth practices had achieved >90% adherence in the presence of a coach, compared with only 7 of 39 practices during the first month. Key behaviors with the greatest improvement included explanation of danger signs, temperature measurement, assessment of fetal heart sounds, initiation of skin-to-skin contact, and breastfeeding. Without a coach present, birth attendants' average adherence to practices and checklist use was 24 percentage points lower than when a coach was present (range: -1% to 62%). CONCLUSION: Implementation of the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist with coaching improved uptake of and adherence to essential birth practices. Coordination and communication among facility staff, as well as behaviors with an immediate, tangible benefit, showed the greatest improvement. Difficult-to-perform behaviors and those with delayed or theoretical benefits were less likely to be sustained without a coach present. Coaching may be an important component in implementing the Safe Childbirth Checklist at scale.Note: At the time of publication of this article, the results of evaluation of the impact of the BetterBirth intervention were pending publication in another journal. After the impact findings have been published, we will update this article on the effect of the intervention on birth practices with a reference to the impact findings.
A Simplified Regimen Compared with WHO Guidelines Decreases Antenatal Calcium Supplement Intake for Prevention of Preeclampsia in a Cluster-Randomized Noninferiority Trial in Rural Kenya.
Journal of Nutrition. 2017 Oct; 147(10):1986-1991.Background: To prevent preeclampsia, the WHO recommends antenatal calcium supplementation in populations with inadequate habitual intake. The WHO recommends 1500-2000 mg Ca/d with iron-folic acid (IFA) taken separately, a complex pill-taking regimen. Objective: The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that simpler regimens with lower daily dosages would lead to higher adherence and similar supplement intake.Methods: In the Micronutrient Initiative Calcium Supplementation study, we compared the mean daily supplement intake associated with 2 dosing regimens with the use of a parallel, cluster-randomized noninferiority trial implemented in 16 primary health care facilities in rural Kenya. The standard regimen was 3 x 500 mg Ca/d in 3 pill-taking events, and the low-dose regimen was 2 x 500 mg Ca/d in 2 pill-taking events; both regimens included a 200 IU cholecalciferol and calcium pill and a separate IFA pill. We enrolled 990 pregnant women between 16 and 30 wk of gestation. The primary outcome was supplemental calcium intake measured by pill counts 4 and 8 wk after recruitment. We carried out intention-to-treat analyses with the use of mixed-effect models, with regimen as the fixed effect and health care facilities as a random effect, by using a noninferiority margin of 125 mg Ca/d.Results: Women in facilities assigned to the standard regimen consumed a mean of 1198 mg Ca/d, whereas those assigned to the low-dose regimen consumed 810 mg Ca/d. The difference in intake was 388 mg Ca/d (95% CI = 341, 434 mg Ca/d), exceeding the prespecified margin of 125 mg Ca/d. The overall adherence rate was 80% and did not differ between study arms.Conclusions: Contrary to our expectation, a simpler, lower-dose regimen led to significantly lower supplement intake than the regimen recommended by the WHO. Further studies are needed to precisely characterize the dose-response relation of calcium supplementation and preeclampsia risk and to examine cost effectiveness of lower and simpler regimens in program settings. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02238704. (c) 2017 American Society for Nutrition.
Implementation effectiveness of revised (post-2010) World Health Organization guidelines on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV using routinely collected data in sub-Saharan Africa: A systematic literature review.
Medicine. 2017 Oct; 96(40):e8055.BACKGROUND: To synthesize and evaluate the impact of implementing post-2010 World Health Organization (WHO) prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) guidelines on attainment of PMTCT targets. METHODS: Retrospective and prospective cohort study designs that utilized routinely collected data with a focus on provision and utilization of the cascade of PMTCT services were included. The outcomes included the proportion of pregnant women who were tested during their antenatal clinic (ANC) visits; mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) rate; adherence; retention rate; and loss to follow-up (LTFU). RESULTS: Of the 1210 references screened, 45 met the inclusion criteria. The studies originated from 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The highest number of studies originated from Malawi (10) followed by Nigeria and South Africa with 7 studies each. More than half of the studies were on option A while the majority of option B+ studies were conducted in Malawi. These studies indicated a high uptake of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing ranging from 75% in Nigeria to over 96% in Zimbabwe and South Africa. High proportions of CD4 count testing were reported in studies only from South Africa despite that in most of the countries CD4 testing was a prerequisite to access treatment. MTCT rate ranged from 1.1% to 15.1% and it was higher in studies where data were collected in the early days of the WHO 2010 PMTCT guidelines. During the postpartum period, adherence and retention rate decreased, and LTFU increased for both HIV-positive mothers and exposed infants. CONCLUSION: Irrespective of which option was followed, uptake of antenatal HIV testing was high but there was a large drop off along later points in the PMTCT cascade. More research is needed on how to improve later components of the PMTCT cascade, especially of option B+ which is now the norm throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2015 Nov. 2 p. (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP); Policy Brief)This policy brief defines PrEP, presents the World Health Organization's current recommendations for PrEP use and the evidence for it, discusses PrEP's expected cost-effectiveness, and lists considerations for PrEP implementation.
Uptake and performance of prevention of mother-to-child transmission and early infant diagnosis in pregnant HIV infected women and their exposed infants at seven health centres in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Tropical Medicine and International Health. 2017 Jun; 22(6):765-775.Objective To assess the uptake of WHO-recommended PMTCT procedures in Ethiopia's health services. Methods Prospective observational study of HIV-positive pregnant mothers and their newborns attending PMTCT services at seven health centers in Addis Ababa. Women were recruited during antenatal care and followed-up with their newborns at delivery, day 6 and week 6 postpartum. Retention to PMCTC procedures, self-reported ART adherence, and HIV infant outcome were assessed. Turnaround times of HIV early infant diagnosis (EID) procedures were extracted from health registers. Results Of 494 women enrolled 4.9% did not complete PMTCT procedures due to active denial or loss to follow-up. HIV was first diagnosed in 223 (45.1%) and ART initiated in 321 (65.0%) women during pregnancy. ART was initiated in a median of 1.3 weeks (IQR 0-4.3) after HIV diagnosis. Poor self-reported treatment adherence was higher post-partum than during pregnancy (12.5% versus 7.0%, p=0.002), and significantly associated with divorced/separated marital status (RR 2.2, 95% CI 1.3-3.8), low family income (RR 2.1, 95% CI 1.1-4.1), low CD4-count (RR 1.7, 95% CI 1.0-3.0), and ART initiation during delivery (RR 2.5, 95% CI 1.1-5.6). Of 435 infants born alive 98.6% received nevirapine prophylaxis. The mother-to-child HIV transmission rate was 0.7% after a median of 6.7 weeks (IQR 6.4-10.4), but EID results were received for only 46.6% within 3 months of birth. Conclusion High retention in PMTCT services, triple maternal ART and high infant nevirapine prophylaxis coverage were associated with low mother-to-child HIV transmission. Declining post-partum ART adherence and challenges of EID linkage require attention.
Consolidated guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection: recommendations for a public health approach. 2nd ed.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2016.  p.These guidelines provide guidance on the diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, the use of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection and the care of people living with HIV. They are structured along the continuum of HIV testing, prevention, treatment and care. This edition updates the 2013 consolidated guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs following an extensive review of evidence and consultations in mid-2015, shared at the end of 2015, and now published in full in 2016. It is being published in a changing global context for HIV and for health more broadly.
Guideline: Updates on HIV and infant feeding. The duration of breastfeeding and support from health services to improve feeding practices among mothers living with HIV.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2016.  p.The objective of this guideline is to improve the HIV-free survival of HIV-exposed infants by providing guidance on appropriate infant feeding practices and use of ARV drugs for mothers living with HIV and by updating WHO-related tools and training materials. The guideline is intended mainly for countries with high HIV prevalence and settings in which diarrhoea, pneumonia and undernutrition are common causes of infant and child mortality. However, it may also be relevant to settings with a low prevalence of HIV depending on the background rates and causes of infant and child mortality. This guideline aims to help Member States and their partners in their efforts to make informed decisions on the appropriate nutrition actions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the global targets set in the comprehensive implementation plan on maternal, infant and young child nutrition, the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030) and the Global Health Sector Strategy on Sexually Transmitted Infections 2016-2021. The target audience for this guideline includes: (1) national policy-makers in health ministries; (2) programme managers working in child health, essential drugs and health worker training; (3) health-care providers, researchers and clinicians providing services to pregnant women and mothers living with HIV at various levels of health care; and (4) development partners providing financial and/or technical support for child health programmes, including those in conflict and emergency settings. (Excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2016.  p.This report highlights best practices and provides examples of countries that are already coming close to achieving the 90–90–90 targets, which are that 90% of people living with HIV know their HIV status, 90% of people who know their HIV-positive status are accessing treatment and 90% of people on treatment have suppressed viral loads. The report outlines steps that are needed to expedite gains towards each of the three 90s. Technological and service delivery innovations rapidly need to be brought to scale, communities must be empowered to lead the push to end the epidemic, new resources must be mobilized to reach the final mile of the response to HIV and steps must urgently be taken to eliminate social and structural barriers to service access.
Consolidated guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection: What’s new. Policy brief.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2015 Nov.  p. (Policy Brief)The 2015 guidelines includes 10 new recommendations to improve the quality and efficiency of services to people living with HIV. Implementation of the recommendations in these guidelines on universal eligibility for ART will mean that more people will start ART earlier. The updated guidelines present both new recommendations and previous WHO guidance. They include clinical recommendations (“the what” of using ARVs for treatment and prevention) and service delivery recommendations to support implementation (“the how” of providing ARVs), organized according to the continuum of HIV testing, prevention, treatment and care. For the first time the guideline includes “good practice statements” on interventions whose benefits substantially outweigh the potential harms.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2015 Sep.  p. (Guidelines)This early-release guideline makes available two key recommendations that were developed during the revision process in 2015. First, antiretroviral therapy (ART) should be initiated in everyone living with HIV at any CD4 cell count. Second, the use of daily oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is recommended as a prevention choice for people at substantial risk of HIV infection as part of combination prevention approaches. The first of these recommendations is based on evidence from clinical trials and observational studies released since 2013 showing that earlier use of ART results in better clinical outcomes for people living with HIV compared with delayed treatment. The second recommendation is based on clinical trial results confirming the efficacy of the ARV drug tenofovir for use as PrEP to prevent people from acquiring HIV in a wide variety of settings and populations. The recommendations in this guideline will form part of the revised consolidated guidelines on the use of ARV drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection to be published by WHO in 2016. The full update of the guidelines will consist of comprehensive clinical recommendations together with revised operational and service delivery guidance to support implementation.
Simplification of antiretroviral therapy: a necessary step in the public health response to HIV/AIDS in resource-limited settings.
Antiviral therapy. 2014; 19 Suppl 3:31-7.The global scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) over the past decade represents one of the great public health and human rights achievements of recent times. Moving from an individualized treatment approach to a simplified and standardized public health approach has been critical to ART scale-up, simplifying both prescribing practices and supply chain management. In terms of the latter, the risk of stock-outs can be reduced and simplified prescribing practices support task shifting of care to nursing and other non-physician clinicians; this strategy is critical to increase access to ART care in settings where physicians are limited in number. In order to support such simplification, successive World Health Organization guidelines for ART in resource-limited settings have aimed to reduce the number of recommended options for first-line ART in such settings. Future drug and regimen choices for resource-limited settings will likely be guided by the same principles that have led to the recommendation of a single preferred regimen and will favour drugs that have the following characteristics: minimal risk of failure, efficacy and tolerability, robustness and forgiveness, no overlapping resistance in treatment sequencing, convenience, affordability, and compatibility with anti-TB and anti-hepatitis treatments.
Consolidated guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection: Recommendations for a public health approach.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2013.  p.The 2013 Consolidated guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection provide new guidance on the diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, the care of people living with HIV and the use of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2009.  p.As part of efforts to obtain evidence to inform the public health approach to HIV treatment and prevention, the Population Council collaborated with the HIV / AIDS Department of the World Health Organization to develop tools, "HIV Testing, Treatment and Prevention: Generic Tools for Operational Research" for operational research on topics that have relevance to programs. The tools include this main document that is intended to serve as a basis for formulating research questions and designing an operational research project to address them. The document includes four sections: HIV testing and counseling; HIV stigma and discrimination; Adherence to antiretrovirals; and HIV prevention in the context of scaled-up access to HIV treatment.
Vaccine. 2010 Sep 24; 28(41):6723-9.In line with WHO objectives, the Lao Government is committed to eliminate measles by 2012. Yet from 1992 to 2007, the annual incidence of measles remained high while the vaccination coverage showed a wide diversity across provinces. A descriptive study was performed to determine factors affecting compliance with vaccination against measles, which included qualitative and quantitative components. The qualitative study used a convenience sample of 13 persons in charge of the vaccination program, consisting of officials from different levels of the health care structure and members of vaccination teams. The quantitative study performed on the target population consisted of a matched, case-control survey conducted on a stratified random sample of parents of children aged 9-23 months. Overall, 584 individuals (292 cases and 292 controls) were interviewed in the three provinces selected because of low vaccination coverage. On the provision of services side (supply), the main problems identified were a lack of vaccine supply and diluent, a difficulty in maintaining the cold chain, a lack of availability and competence among health workers, a lack of coordination and a limited capacity to assess needs and make coherent decisions. In the side of the consumer (demand), major obstacles identified were poor knowledge about measles immunization and difficulties in accessing vaccination centers because of distance and cost. In multivariate analysis, a low education level of the father was a factor of non-immunization while the factors of good compliance were high incomes, spacing of pregnancies, a feeling that children must be vaccinated, knowledge about immunization age, presenting oneself to the hospital rather than expecting the mobile vaccination teams and last, immunization of other family members or friends' children. The main factors affecting the compliance with vaccination against measles in Laos involve both the supply side and the demand side. Obtaining an effective coverage requires upgrading and training the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) staff and a reinforcement of health education for target populations in all provinces. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care. 2011 Jul; 37(3):128-31.This commentary focuses on guidance around 'missed pill' rules. It discusses the simplification of these rules taken on by the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in 2010 with the aim to produce standardized guidance on the starting of combined hormonal contraceptives and on 'missed pills.'
mHealth: New horizons for health through mobile technologies. Based on the findings of the Second Global Survey on eHealth.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2011.  p. (Global Observatory for eHealth Series Vol. 3)This report aims to make policy-makers aware of the mHealth landscape and the main barriers to implement or scale mHealth projects. It combines the results and analysis of the data gathered from the mHealth survey and is complemented by five country case studies and a review of the current literature related to mHealth. (Excerpt)
Engaging informal providers in TB control: what is the potential in the implementation of the WHO stop TB strategy? a discussion paper.
World Health and Population. 2011; 12(4):5-13.The World Health Organization (WHO) Stop TB Strategy calls for involvement of all healthcare providers in tuberculosis (TB) control. There is evidence that many people with TB seek care from informal providers before or after diagnosis, but very little has been done to engage these informal providers. Their involvement is often discussed with regard to DOTS (directly observed treatment - short course), rather than to the implementation of the comprehensive Stop TB Strategy. This paper discusses the potential contribution of informal providers to all components of the WHO Stop TB Strategy, including DOTS, programmatic management of multi-drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), TB/HIV collaborative activities, health systems strengthening, engaging people with TB and their communities, and enabling research. The conclusion is that with increased stewardship by the national TB program (NTP), informal providers might contribute to implementation of the Stop TB Strategy. NTPs need practical guidelines to set up and scale up initiatives, including tools to assess the implications of these initiatives on complex dimensions like health systems strengthening.
Anthropology and Medicine. 2010 Aug; 17(2):201-214.This paper explores the issue of compliance by focusing on the control of tuberculosis. In the last ten years, patient compliance in tuberculosis control has discursively shifted from 'direct observation' of therapy to more patient-centred focus and support drawing on rights-based approaches in dealing with health care provision. At the same time, there has been an increased international concern with the rise of drug resistant forms of tuberculosis, and how to manage this. This paper looks at these issues and the tensions between them, by discussing the shift in discourses around the two and how they relate. Drawing on experience from work in Nepal, and its successful tuberculosis control programme, it looks at debates around this and how these two arenas have been addressed. The rise of increasingly drug resistant forms of tuberculosis has stimulated the development of new WHO and other guidelines addressing how to deal with this problem. The links between public health, ethics and legal mandate are presented, and the implications of this for controlling transmission of drug resistant disease, on the one hand, and the drive for greater patient support mechanisms on the other. Looking forwards to uncertain ethical and public health futures, these issues will be mediated by emergent WHO and international frameworks.
Expert Opinion On Pharmacotherapy. 2009 Aug; 10(11):1783-91.BACKGROUND: Treating HIV-infected children remains a challenge due to a lack of treatment options, appropriate drug formulations and, in countries with limited resources, insufficient access to diagnostic tests and treatment. OBJECTIVE: To summarize current data concerning new opportunities to improve the treatment of HIV-infected children. METHODS: This review includes data from the most recently published peer-reviewed publications, guidelines or presentations at international meetings concerning new ways to treat HIV-infected children. RESULTS/CONCLUSIONS: New WHO guidelines recommend starting combination antiretroviral treatment in all infants aged < 1 year. Although this is common practice in some high-income countries, implementation of these recommendations in countries with limited resources is still a challenge. There is still an important gap between the availability of licensed drugs in children compared with adults. There remains a need for further pharmacokinetic studies, and for more pediatric formulations of antiretroviral drugs with improved palatability.
[Research Triangle Park, North Carolina], FHI, .  p. (Research Briefs on Hormonal Contraception)Unintended pregnancies resulting from women missing their oral contraceptive pills could be reduced if women better understood what to do when they forget to take their daily pill. Research from Family Health International demonstrates that instructions explaining the steps to take when pills are missed are more readily comprehended when in graphic format, featuring simplified information.
High prevalence of antiretroviral drug resistance mutations in HIV-1 non-B subtype strains from African children receiving antiretroviral therapy regimen according to the 2006 revised WHO recommendations [letter]
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. 2008 Dec 15; 49(5):566-9.Add to my documents.
European Journal of Public Health. 2007 Oct; 17(5):409.In public health teaching, tuberculosis (TB) has been a traditional example of how disease occurrence is determined by the triad agent, environment, host. And it has since long been standard textbook knowledge that there are strong socioeconomic determinants behind all three components: The agent is more prevalent and is spread more easily in conditions of crowding and poor hygienic conditions, and under these conditions several host factors are also more prevalent, such as malnutrition and alcoholism. In recent years another dimension has been added to the socioeconomic patterning of TB: An already very solid mass of research has highlighted the social and economic aspects of care and follow-up of patients with TB. A recent example of this research is the paper by Wang et al. in this issue of the journal, on differences in both patient's delay and doctor's delay in the diagnosis of TB, when comparing residents and non-residents (rural immigrants) in Shanghai. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2006 Apr. 20 p. (WHO/HTM/TB/2003.328 Rev.2)The IDA Foundation is a non-profit organization supporting health care in low- and middle-income countries by providing high-quality drugs and medical supplies at the lowest possible price. In addition, IDA provides procurement agency services and offers consultancy and training on topics related to the various aspects of pharmaceutical supply management. IDA is based in the Netherlands and is ISO 9002-2000 and GDP certified. The quality of IDA products is verified in IDA's GcLP-approved laboratories. GLC is a subgroup of the Stop TB Working Group on DOTS-Plus for MDR-TB. GLC has been established to review applications from potential DOTS-Plus pilot projects and determine whether they are in compliance with WHO's Guidelines for establishing DOTSPlus pilot projects for the management of MDR-TB. Projects that are approved will benefit from second-line anti-TB drugs at concessional prices and from technical assistance from the GLC. (excerpt)