Updated Standards for Tuberculosis Care 

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Respiratory Society (ERS) have developed 21 patient-centred standards to guide clinicians and public health workers to ensure optimal diagnosis, treatment and prevention of tuberculosis (TB).

The second edition of the European Union Standards for Tuberculosis Care (ESTC) is now available. It has been updated to integrate evidence-based recommendations from recently published international guidelines and policy documents.

The goal of the ESTC is to support public health experts, clinicians and healthcare programmes in TB prevention and control, bridging current gaps in case management of TB.

For more information about the Updated European Union Standards for Tuberculosis Care

UN European coalition on health

The UN European coalition on health is a coordination mechanism focusing on the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 – to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages – in the pan-European Region, and of the health-related targets present in other SDGs.

At its initial meeting in 2016 the coalition identified four key workstreams to focus on:

  1. health throughout the life-course, with a focus on maternal and child health (contributing to SDG 3, 4, 5, 16);
  2. communicable diseases, with a focus on HIV and tuberculosis (contributing to SDG 3, 1, 6);
  3. universal health coverage, with a focus on medicines (contributing to SDG 3, 1, 5);
  4. migration, including aspects of emergencies (contributing to SDG 3, 1, 10, 11, 13).

For more information about the UN European coalition on health on the euro.who.int website

Global tuberculosis report 2016

WHO has published a global TB report every year since 1997. The main aim of the report is to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the TB epidemic, and of progress in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease at global, regional and country levels.

This is done in the context of recommended global TB strategies and targets endorsed by WHO’s Member States and broader development goals set by the United Nations.

Download the full report on Global Tuberculosis from the who.int website

TB elimination at stake in Europe

New data released by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and WHO/Europe show that an estimated 340,000 Europeans had tuberculosis (TB) in 2014, corresponding to a rate of 37 cases per 100,000 people.

Although new TB cases decreased by 4.3% on average between 2010 and 2014, high rates of multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB and TB in vulnerable populations, such as the homeless, drug and alcohol abusers and migrants from countries with high numbers of cases of  TB continue to challenge TB elimination.

A quarter of all 480,000 patients with MDR-TB globally were in the European Region in 2014.

The risk that migrants and refugees will be infected or develop TB depends on several factors, including the TB rates in the country of origin. In the Syrian Arab Republic, for example, the rate of new TB cases is 17 per 100,000 population, which is less than half the European Region average of 37. In addition, as TB is not easily transmitted and contacts are limited, there is a low risk that migrants will transmit the disease to resident populations.

The European Region is the only one in the world with a consensus document on the minimum package of cross-border TB control and care interventions. These include ensuring access to medical services, irrespective of a migrant’s registration status, and a non-deportation policy until intensive TB treatment has been completed.

To read the ECDC-WHO report on Tuberculosis surveillance and monitoring in Europe 2015, on the euro.who.int website

To download the Systematic screening for active tuberculosis guide, on the who.int website

Prevention and care of tuberculosis

In this compendium, the WHO Regional Office for Europe has collected good examples of the prevention, control and care of TB. They want countries to be able to share their knowledge and experience of using the health-system approach to tackle health problems.

This report contains 45 examples of good practice in strengthening health systems for the prevention and care of TB and drug-resistant TB from 21 countries, including 14 countries of high priority for MDR-TB and countries with high and low TB incidence.

To read the compendium on the euro.who.int website

Every day 1000 people in Europe develop TB

An estimated 360,000 Europeans developed tuberculosis (TB) in 2013, or around 1000 people a day.

According to new data published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the WHO Regional Office for Europe, this figure was about 6% lower than in 2012, continuing a sustained decline over the last decade across the Region.

However, rates of multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB remain at very high levels, particularly in the so-called 18 high-priority countries, which see 85% of all new TB cases in the Region.

These countries also accounted for most of the 38,000 TB-related deaths in 2013.

To read more, click here