The World Health Organization (WHO) Global TB Program shared their second report of country success stories in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on TB services.
This new report demonstrates how countries, partners and communities are successfully innovating to adapt to the constraints of the pandemic including through operationalization of dual testing for TB and SARS-CoV-2 (“bidirectional screening”) or using COVID-19 vaccination programs to screen for TB, sustaining real-time surveillance to improve TB detection and digital interventions to support treatment adherence and reduce health facility visits.
These new country experiences add to the TB programmatic approaches that were summarized in the first WHO report released in 2021. These stories demonstrate that, faced with a crisis, countries in all WHO regions have adopted innovative interventions to maintain and improve TB service provision.
“The case studies highlight the significant power of innovation in times of crisis, these include the use of digital technologies, community engagement, public–private partnerships and intersectoral approaches to enhance health-care delivery,” said Dr Tereza Kasaeva, Director of WHO’s Global TB Program “We need to build on these lessons and innovations to improve access to essential life-saving TB prevention and care services, and strengthen pandemic preparedness.”
WHO urges countries to restore access to and provision of essential TB services such that levels of TB case detection recover to at least pre-pandemic levels. Please consult the WHO TB/COVID-19 Information Note for more details on COVID-19 considerations for TB care.