A few weeks ago we learned from WHO about a rise in tuberculosis deaths during the pandemic, and we heard from HIFA member Chiabi Bernard Ful, Cameroon about the challenges of tuberculosis control in his country https://www.hifa.org/dgroups-rss/ehs-covid-451-who-tuberculosis-deaths-r...
This paper from GHSP describes Lessons Learned During the COVID-19 Pandemic to Strengthen TB Infection Control.
'The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has hindered access and availability of TB services to maintain robust TB control. The objective of this rapid review was to describe the challenges to be addressed and recommendations to strengthen health system preparedness for optimal TB control across low- and middle-income countries during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.'
CITATION: Lessons Learned During the COVID-19 Pandemic to Strengthen TB Infection Control: A Rapid Review
Helena J. Chapman and Bienvenido A. Veras-Estévez
Global Health: Science and Practice November 2021, https://doi.org/10.9745/GHSP-D-21-00368
Current challenges in TB control efforts, such as an unprepared public health system leadership and infrastructure and an overwhelmed health care workforce, will require novel approaches, practices, and renewed political commitment to maintain sustainable TB programs.
We described proposed recommendations that may strengthen health system preparedness for optimal TB control across low- and middle-income countries:
Ensuring leadership and governance for sustainable national health care budgets
Building networks of community stakeholders
Supporting high-quality health care workforce training and safe workplace environments
Using digital health interventions for TB care
National health systems should develop national policies that promote integral, patient-centered TB care, facilitate the implementation of ethical community interventions, support operational research, and allow the integration of appropriate eHealth applications.
Program managers who understand challenges in TB prevention and control with coexisting health priorities can serve as instrumental leaders and patient advocates to deliver high-quality and sustainable TB care that leads to achieving targets of the End TB Strategy.
'A competent health care workforce must be prepared with appropriate knowledge and skills to simultaneously manage endemic and emerging health threats. Health care workers should receive adequate training, appropriate incentives to provide care, and mental health and psychosocial support.36,41 Continuing education programs can offer up-to-date information about clinical guidelines, best practices, public health principles, and timely health topics... Community fora can offer public platforms to share and discuss evidence-based findings that can promote a call to action for policy changes.'