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(PRESS RELEASE) – As part of its strategic goal to eliminate tuberculosis (TB), in accordance with the framework for low incidence countries, the OECS HIV TB Elimination Project is steadfast in its efforts to strengthen treatment, care and support initiatives.
A major part of this goal continues to be the development of clinical guidelines to manage the care of patients with TB and HIV. To this end, the project organizers recently held a two-day regional workshop in Saint Lucia from Oct. 16 to 17, to review the new draft TB/HIV treatment guidelines for the OECS region.
The workshop entailed a thorough review of the draft guidelines. These guidelines were produced by the technical working group on TB/HIV for the OECS region and will be further reviewed post workshop by experts from regional partners such as the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
The production of the new HIV/TB guidelines entails several benefits to countries in the OECS region.
There is now added capacity for program standardization in the clinical management of TB and HIV, and also the opportunity to make program changes to align with the increasingly integrated TB and HIV programs. This augurs well for health systems strengthening, and providing integrated care at all levels.
The guidelines also provide an opportunity to set implementation benchmarks for laboratory diagnostics and testing for TB and HIV so that they are in line with international standards. Further, the guidelines will also help to harmonize the treatment of HIV and TB patients and are aligned with the recently-updated OECS HIV and STI guidelines 2017.
The OECS region is one step closer to having optimal clinical and program standards for the treatment, care and support of patients with TB and HIV. The HIV/TB Elimination Project remains resolute in achieving the strategic goal of TB Elimination in the OECS region by 2050, and AIDS by 2030.