Stop TB Partnership

TB and COVID-19

Tuberculosis and COVID-19: What to do?

Tuberculosis (TB) is the world’s biggest killer among infectious diseases, claiming more than 4000 lives each day. The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic seriously impacts people with pre-existing health conditions. People who have TB are usually more vulnerable to other infections, including the novel coronavirus, due to pre-existing lung damage. They are at a higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has spread to almost all corners of the world, the Stop TB Partnership has released the results of the latest modeling study which demonstrates the impact the virus will have on the world’s leading infectious disease killer globally—tuberculosis (TB). The new study was commissioned by the Stop TB Partnership in collaboration with the Imperial College, Avenir Health and Johns Hopkins University, and it was supported by USAID.

(Available in these other languages: French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish)

Modeling Study Press Briefing on 5 May 2020

Key Messages: English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish
Press Release: English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish
Communications Materials: Social media toolkit

TB and COVID-19 deaths in Global Fund eligible countries

Measures to be taken by people with TB to reduce their risk for COVID-19:

  • Social distancing with "reverse-quarantine": Remain at home and avoid contact with people as much as possible.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Don’t touch face, nose, eyes with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are unwell.
  • Strictly adhere to your TB treatment.
  • Avoid hospital visits as much as possible and keep in touch with your doctor/nurse/health facility by phone.
  • Use masks, and take extra caution to maintain hygiene such as - disinfection of hands, used surfaces, proper disposal of used tissues, etc.

TB Programmes need to:

  • Ensure proper communication is maintained with people affected by TB and all stakeholders using virtual means of communication.
  • Secure multiple months of TB medicines are made available at the homes of people on TB treatment
  • Use appropriate digital adherence/support tools according to the local context.
  • Ensure people with TB receive necessary psycho-social, nutritional, economic support.
  • Ensure TB care providers are well briefed and use essential personal protection equipment.
  • Switch to treatment for drug-resistant TB which is injection free. Ensure systems are in place for remotely monitoring of side effects and minimizing hospital visits.
  • Maintain uninterrupted TB drugs supply by planning early procurement and careful planning of local distribution and transportation in lock down situations.

National and sub-national governments to support special vulnerable population groups:

Certain populations are at greater risk of TB, because of where they live, where they work or because of other socio-economic factors which result in them experiencing barriers to accessing health services. Despite the emergency nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, health approaches, as well as social policies, should consider rights and gender equity.

  • Care must be taken to ensure that all people, but particularly those who are most vulnerable, receive access to TB and COVID-19 services and that no groups are left behind.

    • This should extend to social, legal and economic protections to maintain good mental health and to act against stigma and discrimination.

Special attention is required for health care workers. They are the frontline against TB and COVID-19. They must be protected and supported to ensure they can undertake their job safely and effectively.

Note: the above points have been compiled to provide immediate help to people affected by TB and TB programmes, recognizing that we are faced with an unprecedented situation. This is not exhaustive and may change and evolve as more evidence and experiences are gathered.

RAPID INFORMATION:
CONSIDERATIONS ON CHOOSING COVID-19 DIAGNOSTICS

Considerations for selection of SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics and potential multiplexing: A perspective to ensure continuity of care for people with TB

How TB Programmes can change to a virtual mode due to the COVID-19 situation

Information Note: Digital Health Technologies, Virtual Care and Community-Based Monitoring Solutions for TB Programmes

Online Survey

IMPORTANT: One minute online survey to let us know if you or anyone in your community is experiencing difficulties accessing TB services.


National Governments Actions / Recommendations on TB and COVID-19


Guidelines and Guidance on TB and COVID-19 from TB Stakeholders

  • Coping with TB in the times of COVID-19 and TB funding priorities (WHO)
  • Information note on TB and COVID-19 (WHO)
  • WHO Database of Publications on COVID-19 (WHO)
  • WHO SOLIDARITY trial (WHO)
  • TB and COVID-19 (Stop TB)
  • THE INTERSECTION OF TB AND COVID-19 (USAID)
  • Statement on BCG Vaccination and COVID-19 (New Tools Working Groups)
  • Lessons from COVID-19 (Alliance for Public Health)
    (Russian version)
  • Funding the response to COVID-19 (Devex)
  • The Need To Avoid COVID-19 Stigma: Lessons From TB Response (FORBES)
  • TB Activists guide to corona virus (TB proof)
  • COVID-19: Avoiding a second Tragedy for people with TB (MSF)
  • COVID-19 and TB-FAQ (The Union)
  • Fighting Tuberculosis: Lessons for COVID-19 (Peter Sands, The Global Fund)
  • Global Fund Issues New Guidance in Response to COVID-19 (The Global Fund)
  • Leveraging the COVID-19 response to fight tuberculosis in China (PATH)
  • Technical Guidance in Context of COVID-19 Pandemic (PEPFAR)
  • A Call for Action - Data Stewards Network (Medium)
  • What people living with HIV need to know about HIV and COVID-19 (UNAIDS)
  • Stop TB Partnership Kenya presents, TB AND COVID19: What to do? (Stop TB Partnership Kenya)
  • What You Need to Know About the New Coronavirus and HIV (The Body)
  • Operational guidance on service delivery to TB patients during the COVID-19 pandemic


  • COVID-19 and TB:
    Dashboards and Data (updated regularly)

    COVID-19

    As of 25 March 2020, 196 countries were affected with over 416,000 cases and 18,589 deaths.

  • WHO daily country reports COVID-19 dedicated webpage and dashboard (graphical form).
  • The COVID-19 section from OurWorldInData website reports and visualizes the data provided by the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC).
  • A dashboard is published and hosted by researchers at the Center for Systems Science and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University.
  • COVID-19 situation on the worldometer website.
  • TB

  • Dashboards by Country
  • Interactive Maps
  • TB and COVID-19
    (Under construction)