The new technical resource serves as a practical tool for health practitioners working with the clinical and operational management of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB), with a special focus on the introduction, implementation and management of a short treatment regimen for MDR-TB.
The Union’s expertise in the shortened treatment regimen is based on the studies carried out in partnership with the Damien Foundation and also the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp. These studies took place in Bangladesh, Niger, Cameroon and Benin. The guide also includes several significant lessons which were learned through the observational study of this regimen in nine francophone African countries which The Union coordinated from 2013 to 2016.
Recommendations on the implementation of the regimen are consistent with WHO’s rapid advice on key changes to treatment of MDR and rifampicin-resistant TB, issued August 2018.
The guide was launched at a press conference on drug-resistant TB at the 49th Union World Conference on Lung Health, in The Hague, and is available in both print and online in English, French and Spanish.
MEMBERS IN ACTION
THE BACTERIOLOGY AND IMMUNOLOGY SUB-SECTION
The bacteriology and immunology sub-section hosted two webinars on ‘Drug-resistance updates: discordance, mutations and clinical’ and ‘Sustainability of BSL-2 and BSL-3 TB laboratories: the good, the bad and the ugly’. The sub-section also collaborated with the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Laboratory Initiative (GLI) for better dissemination of GLI and WHO tools, Union news and policies. Members from the sub-section presented eight posters, three short oral abstracts, one oral abstract and one e-poster at the Union World Conference, and organised five symposia, four satellite sessions, one workshop and one meet-the-expert session.
THE DRUG-RESISTANT TB WORKING GROUP
The drug-resistant TB working group conducted a survey of members and published ‘Insights into drug-resistant tuberculosis treatment: results of The Union DR-TB Working Group Survey 2017’ in Public Health Action. Group members also hosted a webinar on the same topic and the rollout of the nine-month regimen and new DR-TB drugs. The group plans to collaborate with the TB and Ethics Working Group on ethics issues related to access to new treatment regimens.
THE TB AND MENTAL HEALTH WORKING GROUP
The TB and mental health working group released a training video about managing mental health in people in treatment for MDR-TB, readily available in Spanish with English subtitles. Group members co-authored a comment paper in The Lancet Psychiatry with WHO Global TB Programme and WHO Mental Health and Substance Abuse Departments entitled ‘Tuberculosis: an opportunity for mental health service integration in low-resource settings’.