On World Tuberculosis Day, March 24, the International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) announced the launch of a new tuberculosis (TB) prevention toolkit, located online at http://www.tbpreventiontoolkit.org.
The toolkit, developed in collaboration with the Curry International Tuberculosis Center at the University of California, San Francisco, is targeted toward facility level administrators and health care workers in communities with a high prevalence of TB and HIV. It is designed to provide clear guidance to help these leaders and clinicians implement, monitor, and continuously improve TB prevention and control measures. It also provides a selected set of accurate, up-to-date guidance documents and resources.
“For some time, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other policy leaders have been pushing for more robust TB infection control and prevention activities, particularly among people living with HIV,” said Dr. Christopher Behrens, I-TECH medical director. “Strong guidelines exist, but at the facility level, it can be difficult for implementers to know where to begin. We designed this resource to provide step-by-step guidance on how to get started, prioritizing areas that are easiest and have the most impact.”
Using the “Three Is” framework developed by WHO, the toolkit provides guidance on strengthening TB infection control practices, intensifying TB case finding among people living with HIV (PLHIV), and incorporating isoniazid preventive therapy into care and treatment for PLHIV. For each of these “Three Is,” the toolkit provides detailed implementation activities, action steps, guidance on monitoring and evaluating progress, training tools, and steps for continuous quality improvement. Together, these resources are intended to help implementers adapt existing national and international guidelines to their local contexts.
I-TECH was founded in 2002 and is a partnership between theUniversity of Washington and the University of California, San Francisco. I-TECH works closely with local partners to develop skilled health care workers and strong national health care systems in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. The organizations global network of programs includes offices in 10 countries, projects in more than 20, and almost 700 employees worldwide. I-TECHs TB prevention and care activities include working with local leaders to mentor health care workers in infection control and treatment, provide training and support, improve laboratory diagnosis of TB, upgrade
infrastructure, develop policy and guidelines, provide needs assessment, and support patient diagnosis and care.