How can we prevent Tuberculosis (TB)?

As someone with TB, it’s crucial to take precautions to avoid infecting others. Similar to COVID-19, practicing physical distancing and wearing a mask covering your mouth and nose helps prevent the spread of TB, which is airborne. Ensuring good air circulation in indoor spaces can also reduce the presence of active TB bacteria. However, completing the full course of TB treatment is essential to eliminate all TB bacteria from your body. Even if symptoms improve within a few weeks of treatment, you can still be infectious for at least six months as TB bacteria can remain active.

What is the Declaration on Human Rights in TB?

Ending TB requires a human-rights-based approach, guided by international, regional, and local laws that uphold rights such as health, non-discrimination, privacy, participation, and freedom. Governments and private entities have legal obligations under human rights law. The Stop TB Partnership, along with TB-affected communities and civil society, is working to integrate human rights principles into TB responses. This includes promoting equity and rights through CRG TB plans at the country and community levels.

Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine: This vaccine is used in countries with high TB rates, especially to prevent severe forms of TB in children.

  • Ensure proper ventilation in indoor spaces to reduce the concentration of TB bacteria in the air.
  • Implement infection control measures in healthcare settings to prevent healthcare-associated TB transmission.
  • Screen high-risk individuals, such as contacts of TB cases, healthcare workers, and people living with HIV, for TB infection and disease.
  • Use diagnostic tests like TB skin tests, interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs), and chest X-rays to detect TB infection and disease.
  • Provide prompt and effective treatment for TB infections to prevent progression to active TB disease.
  • Ensure that individuals diagnosed with active TB disease complete the full course of TB treatment as prescribed by healthcare providers.
  • Implement directly observed therapy (DOT) programs to support treatment adherence.
  • Identify and address risk factors that increase susceptibility to TB, such as HIV infection, malnutrition, diabetes, tobacco use, and alcohol use disorder.
  • Provide comprehensive healthcare services, including screening and management of comorbidities, to reduce TB risk.
  • Promote international collaboration, funding, and research to develop new tools, diagnostics, and treatment regimens for TB prevention and control.