Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States are the largest immigrant- and refugee-receiving countries in the world and are currently collaborating on preventing importation of TB into each of their countries. Joint efforts in a small number of high-burden countries can help prevent importation of TB cases and also contribute to control efforts within source countries.
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.
This article describes the collaborative experiences of five countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States of America, members of the Immigration and Refugee Health Working Group [IRHWG]), with similar pre-migration screening programmes for TB that are mandated. Qualitative examples of capacity building through IRHWG programmes are provided. Combined, the IRHWG member countries screen approximately 2 million persons overseas every year. Large-scale pre-entry screening programmes undertaken by IRHWG countries require building additional capacity for health care providers, radiology facilities and laboratories. This has resulted in significant improvements in laboratory and treatment capacity, providing availability of these facilities for national public health programmes.
This review provides an overview and critical assessment of TB screening practices that are focused on migrants and visitors from high to low TB incidence countries, including pre-migration screening and post-migration follow-up of those deemed to be at an increased risk of developing TB. We focus mainly on migrants who enter the destination country via application for a long-stay visa, as well as asylum seekers and refugees, but briefly consider issues related to short-term visitors and those with long duration multiple-entry visas. Issues related to the screening of children and screening for latent TB infection are also explored.