The International Standards for Tuberculosis Care, 3rd edition (ISTC)
The ISTC (Annex 1) describe a widely accepted level of care that all practitioners, public and private, should seek to achieve in managing patients who have, are suspected of having, or are at increased risk of developing tuberculosis. The ISTC are intended to facilitate the effective engagement of all health care providers in delivering high-quality care for all TB patients, including adults and children, those who are sputum smear-positive, sputum smear-negative, extrapulmonary, drug-resistant, or those with TB/HIV co-infection and other co-morbidities. Irrespective of the country or setting in which you work, the basic principles of care and management for those with or those suspected of having active TB disease are the same. These include:
- Prompt and accurate diagnosis
- Standardized treatment regimens of proven efficacy with
- appropriate treatment support and supervision
- Monitored response to treatment
- Implementation of essential public health responsibilities
These actions should be carried out following the national TB guidelines of your country and respecting the recording and reporting requirements. These principles are the key elements in the public health response to TB and are the cornerstone of TB control. The evaluation and treatment of patients with TB involves not only the care of the individual, but the protection of the greater public health needs of the community.
Using the principles of the ISTC, this course provides training material for physicians who would like a brief refresher on a broad set of TB care and management issues. The Patients Charter for Tuberculosis Care, developed in tandem with the ISTC, is also an important document for physicians involved in the management of TB patients. The Charter outlines the rights and responsibilities of people with TB and sets out the ways in which patients, the community, health care providers (both private and public), and governments can work as partners in a positive and open relationship with the goal of improving TB care and enhancing the effectiveness of the healthcare system.