Thursday, 25 May 2017

Proposed Revision of WMA Resolution on Tuberculosis: Inputs required

Document no:
SMAC 206/Tuberculosis REV/Apr2017
Proposed Revision of WMA Resolution on Tuberculosis

Constituent Members
Action(s) required:
For consideration
As part of the annual policy review process, the Council in Buenos Aires (April 2016) decided that the WMA Resolution on Tuberculosis should undergo a major revision. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) volunteered to undertake that work.
At its 204th session in Taipei (October 2016), the Council decided to circulate the proposed revised document within WMA membership for comments. The 206th Council session in Livingstone (April 2017) considered the revised version and decided to circulate it again within WMA membership for further comments.


1.            According to the World Health Organization, tuberculosis is a significant global public health problem affecting over 8 million cases every year with 2.2 million infectious cases and over 1.5 million deaths. South East Asian and African countries are most affected.

2.            In developing countries, the incidence of tuberculosis has risen dramatically because of high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, increasing migration of populations, urbanisation and over-crowding.

3.            The emergence of strains of tuberculosis bacteria resistant to first-line drugs have become a major public health threat in the forms of multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB) due to indiscriminate or inappropriate use, lack of access, poor compliance or incomplete treatment.

4.            MDR tuberculosis is a significant threat to development and the safety of global health.

5.            Community awareness and public health education and promotion are essential elements of tuberculosis prevention.

6.            Screening of high risk groups including PLHIV (people living with HIV) and vulnerable population including migrants, prisoners and the homeless is important in tuberculosis prevention.

7.            Rapid diagnosis with molecular tests and supervised daily treatment started at the earliest should help arrest the spread of disease.

8.            BCG (Bacille Calmette-GuĂ©rin) vaccination as early as possible after birth should continue until a new more effective vaccine is available.


8.       The World Medical Association, in consultation with WHO and national and international health authorities and organizations, will continue its work to generate community awareness about symptoms of TB and increase capacity building of health care providers in early identification and diagnosis of TB suspects and ensuring complete treatment utilizing Directly Observed Treatment Short course.

9.       The WMA supports calls for adequate financial, material and human resources for tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS research and prevention, including adequately trained health care providers and adequate public health infrastructure, and will participate with health professionals in providing information on tuberculosis and its treatment.

Health care professionals should have access to all required medical and protective equipment to prevent against the risk of infection and spread of the disease.

10.    The WMA encourages continuing efforts to build up the capacity of health care professionals about increase in the use of rapid diagnostics methods, their availability in the public sector and in the management of all forms of TB including (MDR and XDR).

11.    The WMA calls on its Member National Medical Associations to support their National TB Programmes by generating awareness among healthcare professionals about TB management and in the community for early reporting.

12.    The WMA calls on its National Member Associations to propagate methods of TB prevention including respiratory hygiene, cough etiquettes, and safe sputum disposal.

13.    National Member Associations should encourage all its members to timely notify to relevant authorities, all patients diagnosed or put on TB treatment for initiation of contact screening and adequate follow up till the completion of treatment.

14.    National Member Associations should co-ordinate with their TB National Programme and promulgate the adopted guidelines to all members.

The WMA supports WHO's efforts and call upon all governments, communities, civil society and the private sector to act together to end tuberculosis world-wide.

All should jointly promote collaboration using new innovative approaches to achieve TB free World and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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