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Open Access Social determinants and risk factors for tuberculosis in national surveillance systems in Europe

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Setting: National tuberculosis programmes (NTPs) of the 53 Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region.

Objectives: To identify the social determinants and underlying risk factors for tuberculosis (TB) as routinely monitored by NTPs and to identify those feasible and appropriate to be included in the annual reporting to the joint European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) WHO reporting platform.

Design: A semi-structured questionnaire sent to 53 national TB surveillance correspondents.

Results: A total of 47 countries submitted questionnaires; most of the countries collect a number of social determinants and risk factors that are not requested for reporting to the Joint ECDC-WHO Reporting Platform. Occupation/employment, homelessness, diabetes mellitus and use of alcohol are collected by the majority of countries, but without standardised definitions.

Conclusions: Four social determinants/risk factors are already included in the national TB surveillance systems of the majority of countries and could be incorporated in the annual reporting to the Joint ECDC/WHO Reporting Platform. Standardised epidemiological case definitions need to be adopted.
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Keywords: Europe; risk factors; social determinants; surveillance; tuberculosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: World Health Organization (WHO), Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark 2: WHO Consultant, Yerevan, Armenia

Publication date: September 21, 2015

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  • Public Health Action (PHA), The Union's quarterly open access on-line journal, provides a platform for its mission 'Health solutions for the poor'. PHA addresses the need for show-casing operational research that addresses issues in health systems and services. It publishes high-quality scientific research that provides new knowledge to improve access, equity, quality and efficiency of health systems and services.

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