Health Policy

WHO initiative to involve pharmacists in combating TB

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In a major initiative to combat TB epidemic, the World Health Organisation and the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) signed a joint statement to involve pharmacists in tuberculosis care and control. The statement was signed by Hiroki Nakatani, WHO Assistant Director-General for HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases and FIP president, Michel Buchmann, at the World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences 2011 and the 71st International Congress of FIP. The event was inaugurated by President Pratibha Patil earlier. Dr Nakatani said that TB was one of the major killers worldwide claiming five million lives per year. Referring to the emergence of multi-drug resistant TB due to underuse, overuse and misuse of anti-TB drugs, he pointed out that India was home to largest burden of TB patients and emphasised the importance of collaboration with pharmacists. FIP president Michel Buchmann said that FIP would endeavour to support WHO and its member States in enabling national TB programmes and national pharmacy associations to strengthen their collaboration towards care and control of TB and multi-drug resistant TB globally. The statement called upon TB programmes and pharmacy associations to engage pharmacists in the fight against TB by increasing awareness of TB, referring people with TB symptoms to facilities with quality diagnosis and treatment, providing patient-centric treatment supervision to promote adherence and help prevent multi-drug resistant TB and promoting the rational use of anti-TB medicines.

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