Status paper on prisons and tuberculosis




A review of the current position concerning the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) showed that, despite the progress being made, TB remains a major problem in prisons in parts of Europe and for Europe as a whole. There is an urgent need for all those concerned, including public health policy-makers and prison staff, to understand the nature of the challenge stemming from the characteristics of the disease and from the particular realities of life in prison and among prison populations. This report provides evidence for what must be done, and outlines the well-established ways by which this life-threatening disease can be detected, treated and brought under control in prisons and in the community. With such understanding, and with resources for trained staff, for laboratory testing and for curative medicines, TB programmes in prisons as part of national strategies can bring about major public health gains and contribute towards a world without TB. This status paper was adopted at the WHO International Conference on Prisons and Health in Sinaia, Romania on 26 October 2006. The meeting was organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Health of Romania and the TB Projects Implementation Unit, National Administration of Penitentiaries. The meeting was co-sponsored by the WHO Collaborating Centre on Prison Health at the Department of Health for England and Wales, the Global Fund, the Romanian National Administration of Penitentiaries, and the Institute of Lung Diseases “Marius Nasta”.