How to Protect Ourselves from TB

Brochure for communities

24 March 2020

The most effective intervention available to reduce the risk of latent TB infection progressing to active TB disease is TB preventive treatment (TPT). However, globally the uptake of TPT continues to be low due to deep knowledge gaps.

On World TB Day, we are glad to share with you a community friendly brochure on How to Protect Ourselves from TB

The GCTA and the WHO SEARO worked with partners from LKNU (Indonesia), NCPI+ (India), NITRD – India, FIND, STOP TB Partnership, the Union and WHO HQ to develop the brochure.

Leading up to the World TB Day we hosted a webinar on Demystifying TB Preventive Treatment with panellists representing affected community members, civil society partners, implementers and WHO.

Blessina Kumar, GCTA said TPT needs active advocacy as we are asking people who are not sick to take medicines. She compared TPT to fire proofing a home and stressed the need for advocates and activists to fully understand TPT for effective advocacy.

fire proofing a home and stressed the need for advocates and activists to fully understand TPT for effective advocacy.

1 in 3 PLHIV opt out of taking isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) because of the side effects and the added pill burden. We need to ensure that they have knowledge about TPT and are willing to take it, said Jeffry Acaba, ACT!AP and CSTF Member.

The primary challenge is lack of knowledge, especially in the case of childhood TB. There is also a lack of promotion of TB preventive treatment. So, it is exciting that we have developed this brochure with GCTA. Now, we can use it in our country as well to inform the communities and the health care workers – Esty Febriani, LKNU Indonesia and CSTF Member.

Everyone has the right to access the highest available standard of TB prevention. Prevention is something that only works if we approach it as a public good. This is becoming abundantly clear as countries are responding to the COVID 19 pandemic. So, If we consider prevention as public good then TPT also must be considered a public good – Mike Frick, Treatment Action Group.

Dr. Avinash Kanchar, WHO asserted the need for collaboration between communities and technical partners and said the uptake of TPT has been dismal and we will need continuous support from the civil society and community partners if we are to reach 30 million people by 2022.

Dr. Vineet Bhatia, WHO SEARO shared about the purpose behind the development of the brochure and said, WHO guidelines continue to be very technical and hence there was a need for unpackaging the guidelines for communities. It is always wonderful to collaborate with community partners such as GCTA and we hope this brochure will benefit many.

In these difficult times, as the world deals with the COVID19 pandemic, we send our best wishes to all our partners around the globe.

#EndStigmaEndTB

Please find a link to the message from Dr. Poonam Khetrapal, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region on World TB Day.

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