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Free Content Cross-border collaboration for improved tuberculosis prevention and care: policies, tools and experiences

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As tuberculosis (TB) spreads beyond borders with people movements, several interventions ensuring the continuity of care are essential, although difficult to put in place in the absence of well-defined agreements allowing data sharing and easy referral of patients to appropriate health facilities. This article first sets out general principles for cross-border collaboration and continuity of care. It then presents a series of case studies. Policies and practices on cross-border collaboration in selected low-incidence countries (Australia, Italy, Norway, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States) are described and critically appraised. Details of the World Health Organization's (WHO's) European Respiratory Society TB Consilium for transborder migration and those of the Health Network's TBNet activities are described. With increasing population movement, including migrants and travellers, it is time to build on good practices and existing tools and to remove legal, financial and social barriers to ensure early diagnosis, full treatment and continuity of care across our world. Data sharing between the sending and the receiving countries is of utmost importance and must be conducted in line with privacy protection rules. Successful implementation of these interventions is key to being on track with the WHO's End TB strategy targets for 2030.
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Keywords: TB; care; cross-border; prevention

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark 2: University Division of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Spedali Civili Hospital, Brescia 3: WHO Collaborating Centre for TB and Lung Diseases, Maugeri Care and Research Institute, Tradate, Italy 4: WHO Collaborating Centre for TB and Lung Diseases, Maugeri Care and Research Institute, Tradate, Italy, Public Health Consulting Group, Lugano, Switzerland 5: KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, The Hague, Centre for Infectious Diseases Control, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands 6: Health Services and Policy Division, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 7: Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Migrant Clinicians Network, New York, New York, USA 8: KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, The Hague

Publication date: July 1, 2017

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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