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Free Content Policies and practices on the programmatic management of latent tuberculous infection: global survey

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SETTING: Global survey among low tuberculosis (TB) burden countries, which are primary target countries for the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on the programmatic management of latent tuberculous infection (LTBI).

OBJECTIVE: To perform a baseline assessment of policies and practices for the programmatic management of LTBI.

DESIGN: Online and paper-based pre-tested questionnaire filled out by national TB programme managers or their equivalents from 108 countries.

RESULTS: Of 74 respondent countries, 75.7% (56/74) had a national policy on LTBI. The majority of the countries (67/74, 90.5%) provided LTBI testing and treatment for child contacts of TB cases, while almost two thirds (49/74, 66%) reported provision of LTBI testing and treatment to people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV). Six countries (8.1%) did not report providing LTBI management to child contacts and PLHIV. Among countries that reported both the availability of policy and practice of testing and treatment of LTBI for at-risk populations, a system for recording and reporting data was available in 62% (33/53) for child contacts and in 53% (21/40) for PLHIV.

CONCLUSION: Countries need to ensure that national LTBI policies and a standardised monitoring and evaluation system are in place to promote the programmatic management of LTBI.
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Keywords: LTBI; isoniazid preventive therapy; tuberculin skin test

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Global TB Programme, World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva, Switzerland 2: WHO Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark 3: WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Cairo, Egypt 4: WHO Regional Office for the Americas, Washington DC, USA 5: WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific, Manila, The Philippines

Publication date: December 1, 2016

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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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