Tuberculosis (TB)

Treatment: background

To cure TB and reduce disease transmission, patients should be placed on effective treatment soon after diagnosis. Treatment should be provided to all who need it regardless of age, sex, gender or type of TB disease, bacteriological status, co-morbidities or legal status of the patient. In most circumstances, community-based treatment adherence support may lead to more favourable treatment outcomes.

Ensuring all TB patients have access to free-of-charge life-saving treatment is fundamental to minimizing disease and deaths due to TB. Resistance to anti-TB medicines poses a major threat to global progress and needs to be promptly and adequately addressed.

Patient-centred care is a key component of WHO’s End TB Strategy. As part of patient-centred care and depending on needs, all patients should receive educational, emotional and economic support to enable them to complete the diagnostic process and full course of required treatment. All persons with TB should also be screened for diabetes.

Depending on local epidemiology, they should also be assessed for other co-morbidities and related risk factors such as smoking and alcohol or drug abuse.