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Free Content Tuberculosis control practices in some prison systems of the Asia-Pacific Region, 1997

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SETTING: Prison health services of Member States of the Western-Pacific Region (WPR) of the World Health Organization (WHO).

OBJECTIVE: To assess tuberculosis control activities in prisons.

DESIGN: Self-reporting questionnaire.

RESULTS: A total of 15 responses out of a possible 26 (57%) were received from WPR countries. The estimated population for the respondent countries was 65154000 out of a possible 1580000000 (4%); 69% of respondents stated that the prison health service was independent of the custodial service, 86% notified tuberculosis cases to national health authorities, and 84% of respondents applied directly observed therapy to tuberculosis cases. Only 76% of respondents reported that patients were transferred on release to community treatment services.

CONCLUSIONS: Tuberculosis control practices in prisons are inconsistent, and do not conform to guidelines now promoted by the WHO. Emphasis on the diagnosis and treatment of infectious cases, improved surveillance of tuberculosis, and the integration of prison programmes into the National Tuberculosis Programmes (NTP) will improve the current epidemic behind prison walls.

Keywords: Asia; Pacific; prisons; tuberculosis control

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: NSW Corrections Health Service, and the Department of Community Medicine and Public Health, University of Sydney, Australia

Publication date: 1999-09-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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