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Free Content The new National Tuberculosis Control Programme in Israel, a country of high immigration

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SETTING: Israel has implemented a new tuberculosis (TB) control programme in response to the rise in the incidence of tuberculosis due to immigration in the last decade. It complies with World Health Organization guidelines, and also includes specific measures addressing the needs of immigrants. We describe the new programme and compare the outcome of treatment prior and after its realisation.

METHODS: Each component of the new strategy was scrutinised, aspects that did not function well were identified and how we contended with these issues is described. Analysis of outcome of treatment was according to WHO/IUATLD definitions.

RESULTS: Better and clearer organisation of TB treatment in all its aspects, including cultural sensitivity, has been obtained. Compliance improved from less than 27% for successful outcome before the new programme to more than 75% after. In addition to the improvement in completion rates, the universal use of directly observed treatment has ensured enhanced adherence.

CONCLUSION: Using legislative, administrative and bud-getary measures, as well as clinical guidelines published by the Ministry of Health, the TB infrastructure in Israel has been successfully reorganised. The decision to do so was not only clinically and organisationally justifiable, it is also economically viable.

Keywords: DOTS; Israel; immigration; treatment policy; tuberculosis epidemiology

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Tuberculosis and AIDS, Ministry of Health, Jerusalem, Israel; and Public Health Services, Ministry of Health, Jerusalem, Israel 2: Public Health Services, Ministry of Health, Jerusalem, Israel 3: Deputy Director General, Ministry of Health, Jerusalem, Israel 4: Department of Tuberculosis and AIDS, Ministry of Health, Jerusalem, Israel; Public Health Services, Ministry of Health, Jerusalem, Israel; and Centre for Lung Disease, Clalit Health Services, Haifa, Israel

Publication date: September 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • 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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