News from ERS Assemblies: June 2017

28 June, 2017

Assembly 10: ERS/WHO collaborative projects are central in the fight against TB in Europe

An overview statement from Prof GB Migliori, former ERS Secretary General and coordinator of the ERS TB Collaborating Centre, following the Wolfheze Workshop:

“From 31 May to 2 June 2017 the coordinators of the National TB Programme (NTP) met in The Hague, Netherlands at the 18th Wolfheze Workshop, a core initiative which has been central to the TB Control and Elimination Strategy in Europe since 1990 – bringing together managers, health authorities, scientists, national TB surveillance correspondents, representatives from civil society organisations and other partners to discuss achievements, challenges and the way forward in TB control. This year’s workshop focused on the results achieved so far and on the next steps in the fight against TB in Europe.

“NTP coordinators presented the achievements in terms of incidence and trends of TB and MDR-TB alongside discussing next steps. The main focus was on patient-centred care, TB/HIV collaborative activities, aDSM (monitoring of adverse events) for new anti-TB drugs, management of latent TB infection (LTBI) and implementation of new technologies.

“A full session was devoted to discussion on the results achieved so far by the ERS/WHO collaborative projects. The M-Health project was discussed, and the preliminary results of the ongoing projects in Belarus and Central Asia were presented, raising interest and consensus. The promising results of the ongoing trial in London were also highlighted and discussed.

“The contribution of the TB Consilium, which has allowed for the successful management of over 300 cases globally through an e-platform operating in English, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese, was acknowledged by the European delegates. The important trans-border migration application was also presented.”

ERS welcomes WHO Guidelines on the use of digital technologies for TB

A statement from Prof. Giovanni Sotgiu, Secretary of the ERS Respiratory Infections Assembly and member of the ERS Working Group on TB Advocacy:

“On 30 May the World Health Organisation (WHO) released their latest guidelines on TB treatment, inclusive of their first evidence-based recommendations on the use of digital technologies – with a focus on the use of phones, videos and electronic medication monitors.

“These guidelines highlight the important role that these digital technologies can play in both delivering TB care and in improving the medication adherence of patients and are welcomed by ERS as we have played a fundamental role in raising the profile of digital technologies in the treatment of TB.

“Since 2015, we have worked jointly with the WHO Global TB Programme, focussing on the potential of digital technologies to support national TB programmes globally.

“We worked specifically on a joint consultation back in February this year entitled “Digital health for the End TB strategy: progress since 2015 and future perspectives”. The report, which looked at evidence for the effectiveness and efficiency of common digital health approaches to improve TB treatment adherence, the implementation of priority technologies in TB prevention and care, and novel approaches and constructs that can influence TB efforts in future, was released recently and supports the need for digital technologies to advance response to TB and reach the targets set in the End TB Strategy.”