Guidelines for the programmatic management of drug-resistant tuberculosis.
The emergence of resistance to drugs used to treat tuberculosis (TB), and particularly multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), has become a significant public health problem in a number of countries and an obstacle to effective global TB control. In many other countries, the extent of drug resistance is unknown and the management of patients with MDR-TB is inadequate. In countries where drug resistance has been identified, specific measures need to be taken within TB control programmes to address the problem through appropriate management of patients and adoption of strategies to prevent the propagation and dissemination of drug-resistant TB, including MDR-TB. These guidelines offer updated recommendations for TB control programmes and medical workers in middle- and low-income countries faced with drug-resistant forms of TB, especially MDR-TB. They replace two previous publications by the World Health Organization (WHO) on drug-resistant TB. Taking account of important developments in recent years, the new guidelines aim to disseminate consistent, up-to-date recommendations for national TB control programmes and medical practitioners on the diagnosis and management of drug-resistant TB in a variety of geographical, political, economic and social settings. The guidelines can be adapted to suit diverse local circumstances because they are structured around a flexible framework approach, combining a consistent core of principles and requirements with various alternatives that can be tailored to the specific local situation. (excerpt)