One of our main focuses at KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation is to find and treat patients who have TB but who are not yet ill with TB disease. This form of TB is known as latent TB infection (LTBI) and necessitates the need for preventative TB initiatives.
According to the World Health Organization an estimated one-fourth of the world’s population has latent TB infection. While infected with the TB bacteria, this people have no symptoms and are unable to spread TB to others. In healthy individuals, the body’s immune system is often strong enough to prevent the development of active TB disease. However, persons with LTBI and compromised immune systems, such as people living with HIV, or who suffer from malnutrition, diabetes, or use tobacco/alcohol have a much higher risk of developing active TB disease.
To achieve our goal of a world free of TB, requires disrupting the cycle of transmission and disease, making it necessary to find all TB patients, including those with LTBI. Our approach is to impact all three crucial components of this cycle: prevention of transmission; prevention of progression from infection to disease; and early effective treatment of patients with TB.
We achieve this by implementing comprehensive and country-specific interventions. Our interventions for TB prevention can include active case finding initiatives, contact investigations and integration of TB into HIV prevention and care services.
The UNITAID-funded IMPAACT4TB project for instance enables the use of a shorter preventive therapy regimen and helps reduce the chance of getting ill with TB for the most vulnerable people, such as children under five and people living with HIV.Read more