05 June 2020 | Geneva - The World Health Organization (WHO) Global TB Programme is pleased to share a compendium of key resources to facilitate knowledge sharing and promote research on the interlinkages between tuberculosis (TB) and COVID-19. Given similar disease presentation between TB and COVID-19, and the adverse impact of this pandemic on TB services and health outcomes, knowledge sharing is important for a timely response to the dual threat of COVID-19 and TB.
“This compendium will be an important resource for implementers, researchers, funders, civil society and policy makers to build on lessons learned and strengthen preparedness to mitigate the impact of outbreaks like COVID-19 on the millions ill with TB as well as national TB programmes,” said Dr Tereza Kasaeva, Director of WHO’s Global TB Programme. “Importantly it presents a clear overview of the TB/COVID-19 research landscape, enabling researchers and funding institutions to better prioritize and deploy their time and resources”.
The compendium includes a digital library of publications on TB and COVID-19, as well as a database of ongoing research projects and clinical trials, directly reported by investigators from different parts of the world. The latter was developed through an ongoing survey that opened last month. The WHO Collaborating Centre for TB and Lung Disease in Tradate, Italy, is also supporting the Global TB Programme to gather and review data on the clinical course of disease of COVID-19 patients with TB.
All these resources will remain living documents that will be updated regularly to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration.
“There is a risk that the hard-earned gains of the TB response will be lost if we don’t adapt to the new normal” added Dr. Matteo Zignol, Unit Head a.i. Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment, Care and Innovation, WHO Global TB Programme. “We need evidence-based approaches on how TB programmes in different contexts can adapt to, and where appropriate, leverage resources, to deliver better care to people with TB.”
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