National action plan to improve ambulatory models of TB care in Belarus
National specialists from Belarus, Estonia, Lithuania and Russian Federation shared their experiences in the control of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and discussed Belarus’ national action plan to improve ambulatory models for TB care at a workshop on 10–11 October 2013 in Minsk, Belarus.
WHO/Europe convened the workshop in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Belarus and the National TB Programme as part of the United States Agency for International Development / WHO regional programme for TB in the eastern European region.
The roundtable discussion focused on:
- the need to improve patient compliance after discharge from the hospital to the ambulatory settings both in civilian and penitentiary sectors;
- the need to pilot new financial mechanisms for stimulating primary care staff involved in ambulatory TB care;
- possibilities for more flexible models of ambulatory care involving social workers and Red Cross nurses in organizing DOT treatment for TB patients in distant villages.
The gathered specialists advocated for institutionalization of social support to TB patients to improve their adherence to treatment. (Social support is currently provided only through the Global Fund project). The National TB Programme in Belarus intends to address legislative obstacles to ensuring an earlier return to work or study for noninfectious TB patients who are still in the continuation phase of TB treatment.
The draft of the national plan will be presented to the Ministry of Health.