The project is most effective when strong working relationships develop between the National Nurses Associations and the National TB Programme from the earliest stages, when participants and local co-trainers are being selected. A local co-trainer always participates in delivering the course alongside the lead ICN trainer to ensure that the course is locally relevant and this is usually a leading nurse from the National Programme.
In a message released today, 24 March 2009, on the occasion of World TB Day, Dr. Luis Sambo, Regional Director of the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa has called for the "rigorous implementation of the STOP TB Strategy, including universal coverage with DOTS (the Directly Observed Treatment Short-Course)" in order to significantly improve case detection and treatment outcomes.
He said that the most important element of DOTS is a regimen consisting of a combination of first-line drugs taken, ideally, under direct observation of a health care worker. The combination is known to be very effective against active drug-susceptible TB as long as patients are compliant and complete the entire six-to-eight month course.
"We must endeavour to put every single patient on quality TB Treatment and strive to minimize patient transfers, defaults and deaths", the Regional Director said.
Entitled “Risk Reduction and Inter-Professional Collaboration for TB Infection Control”, this toolkit comes at a time where increasing numbers of health care workers are falling victim to this preventable and curable disease.
The toolkit came to life as a result of the joint ICN / International Hospital Federation (IHF) / World Medical Association (WMA) / International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) training workshops for health professionals on infection control in South Africa, Brazil and Benin. These workshops are part of the ICN/Lilly MDR-TB Partnership which recognised that there is a lack of suitable materials addressing interprofessional collaboration in TB.
Red Cross Red Crescent volunteers are involved at all levels in the fight against TB. Living in the affected communities they are best placed to:
Additionally, our volunteers provide social care after the first phase of treatment. Activities include:
These activities significantly increase the percentage of people who can be cured of TB.
National Red Cross Red Crescent Societies also communicate with national authorities, policy-makers and the public to ensure that the necessary resources are available to control TB.
The ICN/Lilly Award for Nursing Excellence in TB/MDR-TB is an important aspect of ICN's work in tuberculosis and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), through the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership.
In the belief that mobilising the nursing workforce is critical to the global scale-up of prevention, care and treatment of all forms of tuberculosis, ICN with support from Lilly, is implementing a nurse TB training programme in high-burden countries. This programme has facilitated the training of more than 18,000 nurses and allied health workers in TB endemic countries.