Natural Disasters and Weak Health Systems Force Innovative Approaches to Delivering Tuberculosis Treatment and Care: Studies

New research announced at the 47th Union World Conference on Lung Health demonstrates the innovation needed to maintain tuberculosis (TB) treatment and care in the face of natural disasters and weak health systems.

A range of studies including research on TB interventions implemented in the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the recent West Africa Ebola epidemic; challenges faced in rural areas of China; and new technology used to dramatically reduce stock-outs of essential medicines in Ethiopia, were presented to delegates via a series of newly published abstracts at the conference.

“Public health workers undergo extreme tests in the face of deadly natural disasters. They will go the distance to stop TB and ensure that patients can access the care they need, even in the most chaotic conditions,” said José Luis Castro, Executive Director of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union).

“Even when the health system is weak, some solutions can still have a massive benefit on a country’s capacity to deliver health care,” said Dr Paula I Fujiwara, Scientific Director, The Union. “When it comes to TB, anything that delays a diagnosis or interrupts treatment enables the disease to spread and can even lead to drug-resistance in some cases. This is what makes it so critical to continue providing care despite the environmental challenges.”

The relevant abstract titles are below, a document containing further details are be downloaded as a PDF (34KB)

Effective TB case-finding with routine systematic cough screening in general outpatient, inpatient, HIV clinical services in Haiti, 2012-2015  

Community tracing system performance for people affected by Tuberculosis during Ebola epidemic in Conakry, Guinea

Prolonged delay to diagnosis despite availability of free health care services. A study of 76, 486 tuberculosis patients in Yunnan, China

Towards Zero Anti-TB Drugs Stock-Out: Focusing on System Strengthening Brought a Difference in two regions of Ethiopia

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Natural disaster and weak health systems: Abstract details (PDF 34KB)