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Ground-breaking Tuberculosis Psychosocial Support Guide from The Union, TB Alert and global partners

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The Union in partnership with TB Alert, WHO Regional Office for Europe and the Stop TB partnership today released a new guide “Psychosocial counselling and treatment adherence support for people affected by tuberculosis (TB)”. This new Union guide on psychosocial support addresses critical gaps in TB care and control by focusing on overcoming the psychological, social and economic factors that prevent people from accessing diagnosis, adhering to care plans and successfully completing treatment.

Tuberculosis is curable if the medications, which are often unpleasant, are taken daily and uninterrupted over a course lasting six to 24 months. This pioneering manual provides the tools to support affected individuals to complete this daunting and difficult journey. While it will be useful for clinicians, programme managers and policy makers, I feel the manual’s primary target is the trained health worker, social worker and care worker who, together with their patient, can translate the guidance into practice.” said Prof Anthony Harries, Senior Advisor with The Union and who provided medico-clinical inputs for the guide.

The guide is co-authored by TB Alert’s International Programme Director Sameer Sah and Dr. Gill Craig, a psychologist with extensive experience of TB. “The manual fulfils a huge knowledge gap among health and care providers that is critical to achieve good treatment outcomes for people with TB. It encourages and supports policy makers to incorporate and promote psychosocial support as an integral part of all TB programmes around the world.” said Mike Mandelbaum, Chief Executive of TB Alert.

The TB Psychosocial Support guide was supported by an international reference group comprising TB survivors, members of multilateral organisations, TB activists, academia, researchers and representatives of civil society organizations working with various TB key populations.

The report can be found in The Union Technical Publications and is freely available for download.