Eighth meeting of national tuberculosis programme managers/13th Wolfheze Workshop (The Hague, 2008)
The WHO European Region has the highest rates in the world of drug-resistant tuberculosis and increasing rates of HIV/tuberculosis coinfection. Eighteen high-priority countries have been identified to urgently scale up tuberculosis control interventions: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Five of these countries are members of the European Union. Migration and pockets of poverty increase vulnerability to tuberculosis in many western European countries. Related areas, such as the rapid detection of drug-resistant tuberculosis, contact tracing, infection control, health system strengthening and the review of national tuberculosis programmes, are of equal concern among eastern, central and western countries of the WHO European Region. While general awareness and political commitment were raised during the Ministerial Forum held in Berlin in October 2007, how to ensure the follow-up of the Berlin Declaration on TB and monitor its implementation is currently under discussion. The 8th National Tuberculosis Programme Managers Meeting and the 13th Wolfheze Workshop, jointly organized in June 2008 in The Hague, provided a forum for discussion on each of the aforementioned topics and facilitated the sharing of experiences between countries in the Region – which are very different from an epidemiological, organizational, cultural and wealth perspective.