WHO ISSUES NEW ETHICS TO PROTECT TB
In commemoration of an annual
World TB Day of March 24, World Health Organization (WHO) issued ethics
guidance to protect rights of TB patients.
Themed “Unite efforts to leave no one behind” the annual commemoration
is one through which WHO aims to help ensure that countries implementing
the End TB Strategy adhere to sound ethical standards to protect the
rights of all those affected.
The new guidelines launched serve to raise awareness of TB as the
world’s top infectious disease killer claiming 5 000 lives each day
according to the guidelines which reveal that the heaviest burden is
carried by communities which already face socio-economic challenges such
as migrants, refugees, prisoners, ethnic minorities, miners and others
working and living in risk-prone settings, and marginalised women,
children and older people.
Lesotho has however not organised any formal commemoration besides the
ongoing sensitisations by the National TB and Leprosy Programme (NTLP)
which features educative mobilisation of the masses as well as
The Director-TB and Leprosy in the Disease Control Unit, Dr Llang Maama
said efforts are on the ground to support the national strategies of TB
control and that they aim to carry out a TB prevalence survey and
clinical trials of short-term regimen for Drug Resistant (DR) TB
patients in Lesotho since the goal is to reduce mortality rate to less
than five percent.
She said the ongoing sensitisations aims to train the target on the
current TB scourge because they have a role to play in controlling the
disease per the need to upscale TB education in Lesotho not only during
the World TB Day build-up but on a continuous basis to ensure the public
are aware of the disease and the role they have to play.
On the other hand WHO's Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan says TB
strikes some world's poorest people hardest hence the Organisation's
determination to overcome the stigma, discrimination and other barriers
that prevent so many of the people from obtaining the services they so
She said Poverty, malnutrition, poor housing and sanitation compounded
by other risk factors such as HIV, tobacco, alcohol use and diabetes can
put people at heightened risk of TB and make it harder for them to
access care as more than a third of people with TB go undiagnosed or
unreported, while some receive no care at all and others access care of
The new WHO ethics guidance meanwhile addresses contentious issues such
as the isolation of contagious patients, the rights of TB patients in
prison, discriminatory policies against migrants affected by TB among
others. It emphasises five key ethical obligations for governments,
health workers, care providers, non-governmental organisations,
researchers and other stakeholders to provide patients with the social
support they need to fulfil their responsibilities, refrain from
isolating TB patients before exhausting all options to enable treatment
adherence and only under very specific conditions and enable key
populations to access same standard of care offered to other citizens.
Source: LENA 24/03/2017