Cross-border collaboration for improved tuberculosis prevention and care: policies, tools and experiences [Open Access]
Dara M, Sulis G, Centis G, D’Ambrosio L, de Vries G, Douglas P, Garcia D, Jansen N, Zuroweste E, Migliori GB
Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2017 Jul 1;21(7):727-736.
As tuberculosis (TB) spreads beyond borders with people movements, several interventions ensuring the continuity of care are essential, although difficult to put in place in the absence of well-defined agreements allowing data sharing and easy referral of patients to appropriate health facilities. This article first sets out general principles for cross-border collaboration and continuity of care. It then presents a series of case studies. Policies and practices on cross-border collaboration in selected low-incidence countries (Australia, Italy, Norway, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States) are described and critically appraised. Details of the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) European Respiratory Society TB Consilium for transborder migration and those of the Health Network’s TBNet activities are described. With increasing population movement, including migrants and travellers, it is time to build on good practices and existing tools and to remove legal, financial and social barriers to ensure early diagnosis, full treatment and continuity of care across our world. Data sharing between the sending and the receiving countries is of utmost importance and must be conducted in line with privacy protection rules. Successful implementation of these interventions is key to being on track with the WHO’s End TB strategy targets for 2030.