Updated guidelines and a new operational handbook on TB care and support have been launched by WHO to improve the quality of life and better outcomes for people with TB.
This includes for the first-time, implementation guidance on health education, counseling and palliative care as well as on social support, treatment administration options and digital adherence technologies.
“It is vital that all people suffering from TB should receive adequate care and support through their pathway to cure, to enable them to complete their treatment and have positive outcomes”, said Dr Tereza Kasaeva, Director of WHO’s Global TB Program. “This new guidance from WHO puts the people with TB at the heart of the response and represents an important step forward to ensure all those in need attain the highest standard of TB care”.
The WHO Consolidated Guidelines on Tuberculosis, Module 4: Treatment - Tuberculosis Care and Support includes all current WHO recommendations on care and support for people ill with TB, aiming to inform healthcare professionals in Member States on how to improve the outcomes and quality of life of people receiving TB treatment.
The guidelines are complemented by a new WHO Operational Handbook on Tuberculosis, Module 4: Treatment - Tuberculosis Care and Support designed to assist the implementation of WHO recommendations by Member States, technical partners and others involved in providing care for people with TB. The WHO Operational Handbook provides practical guidance on how to put in place the recommended treatment options at the scale needed to achieve national and global impact and emphasizes the interventions recommended to improve TB treatment outcomes. This encompasses guidance on the implementation of interventions that enable treatment adherence including through social support, treatment administration options and digital adherence technologies. Importantly, for the first time in WHO operational guidance, two important chapters are included on health education and counselling, and palliative care. Information is provided on different aspects of care and support for all TB patients, including children and adolescents, people living with HIV and comorbidities and discusses management of TB during health emergencies.
The updated guidelines and supporting operational handbook are designed for use by national TB programs, or their equivalents in Ministries of Health, policy makers and technical organizations working on TB and infectious diseases in public and private sectors and in the community. These documents aim to facilitate uptake of WHO policy in the field and thus improve the overall quality of TB services.