Consultation mechanism to discuss and set guidance for TB control in intermediate and low TB burden countries/areas
The new Regional Strategy primarily targets National TB Programmes (NTPS) in the seven TB high-burden countries. Although its content is relevant to and applicable in all countries and areas in the Region, some aspects of TB control in intermediate or low TB burden countries and areas are not addressed in detail. Yet, these countries and areas still face TB challenges and WHO has been receiving request for assistance from many of them during the past year.
Intermediate and low TB burden countries and areas have several epidemiological and programmatic challenges in common, such as TB in an ageing society, importation and propagation of TB and drug-resistant TB through migration, a large and often uncontrolled private sector, laboratory quality control, management of multi-drug resistant TB and a high proportion of noncommunicable disease (NCD) co-morbidities associated with TB including diabetes and cancer. At the same time, they share many advantages such as full health systems coverage, research capacity, insurance schemes, a well educated workforce and strong infrastructure. As such they have the potential to set an example, pilot new tools and interventions and join forces in the field of research. In addition, some provide technical support to high-burden countries in the Region.
First Consultation Meeting 15 - 16 November 2011
A meeting was held on TB Control in Intermediate and Low TB burden Countries and Areas in the Western Pacific Region with technical leaders of the TB programmes, reference laboratories and relevant associations from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong (China), Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and Singapore.
- to present and review TB control programmes and related laboratory policies in intermediate-burden countries and areas in the context of international and regional TB control policies and targets;
- to identify immediate and longer-term challenges to TB control and propose actions and responses in which WHO and Member States collaborate;
- to present recent TBTEAM and Green Light Committee reforms and the Regional Laboratory Initiative so the Member States can benefit from the global and regional mechanisms; and
- to determine the need for an appropriate consultation mechanism to discuss and set guidance for TB control in intermediate and low TB burden countries and areas.