WHO Regional Office for Africa Releases Strategy To Curb HIV/TB Coinfection
The World Health Organization's Regional Office for Africa on Tuesday launched a strategy aimed at controlling the spread of HIV/tuberculosis coinfection on the continent, Panapress/Afriquenligne reports. The strategy was launched by WHO AFRO Director Luis Sambo at the 57th session of the organization's regional committee for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo. The strategy includes methods of maximizing collaboration between TB and HIV/AIDS control programs and proposes ways to reduce the number of TB cases among people living with HIV/AIDS, according to Panapress/Afriquenligne. The strategy's seven focus areas are:
- Developing collaboration between HIV/AIDS and TB programs;
- Enhancing prevention, treatment and identification of the two diseases;
- Increasing access to treatment, as well as HIV testing and counseling programs, among people who have TB;
- Integrating HIV/AIDS and TB control measures;
- Improving health care workers' communication and awareness of HIV/TB coinfection;
- Mobilizing increased financial resources for interventions; and
- Furthering operational research.
Africa represents 10% of the world's population but records approximately 25% of TB cases worldwide, according to WHO. Sambo said that 35% of people who have TB also have HIV and that TB causes about 40% of deaths among HIV-positive people (Panapress/Afriquenligne, 8/29). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.