Tuberculosis outbreaks in schools: Experiences from the Western Pacific Region

Authors

  • Kalpeshsinh Rahevar World Health Organization Regional Officer for the Western Pacific (WPRO)
  • Tracy Yuen World Health Organization Regional Officer for the Western Pacific (WPRO)
  • Kyung Hyun Oh World Health Organization Regional Officer for the Western Pacific (WPRO)
  • Seiya Kato Research Institute of Tuberculosis- Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association
  • Yuhong Liu National Clinical Center on Tuberculosis, China CDC (CCTB)
  • Zhang Lijie National Clinical Center on Tuberculosis, China CDC (CCTB)
  • Jingtao Gao National Clinical Center on Tuberculosis, China CDC (CCTB)
  • Liang Li National Clinical Center on Tuberculosis, China CDC (CCTB)
  • Zi Chen Department of international cooperation, Innovation Alliance on TB Diagnosis and Treatment (IATB), China
  • Cheon Tae Kim Korean Institute of Tuberculosis, Republic of Korea
  • Sarankhuu Amarzaya Ministry of Health and National Center for Communicable Disease, Mongolia
  • Fukushi Morishita World Health Organization Regional Officer for the Western Pacific (WPRO)
  • Tauhid Islam World Health Organization Regional Officer for the Western Pacific (WPRO)

Abstract

Reports of tuberculosis (TB) outbreaks among schoolchildren have increased in recent years in countries across the Western Pacific Region. Cases from China, Japan, Mongolia and the Republic of Korea were studied to derive lessons from the challenges and responses to TB outbreaks in schools. Despite differences in the TB burden and outbreak preparedness, the four countries reported similar challenges. These included delayed diagnosis of index cases, lack of experienced health professionals and sustained financial support, and difficulty in responding to intensified media and community attention. Early detection of outbreaks, established resource mobilization networks, coordination among stakeholders and proactive communication were highlights of successful outbreak responses. These principles could be adapted to each context for responses to future TB outbreaks in schools.

Author Biographies

Kalpeshsinh Rahevar, World Health Organization Regional Officer for the Western Pacific (WPRO)

Medical Officer- TB and LeprosyEnd TB and Leprosy UnitDivision of Programmes of Disease ControlWHO Western Pacific Region 

Tracy Yuen, World Health Organization Regional Officer for the Western Pacific (WPRO)

Medical Officer- TB and LeprosyEnd TB and Leprosy UnitDivision of Programmes of Disease ControlWHO WPRO

Kyung Hyun Oh, World Health Organization Regional Officer for the Western Pacific (WPRO)

Technical OfficerEnd TB and Leprosy UnitDivision of Programmes of Disease ControlWHO WPRO

Seiya Kato, Research Institute of Tuberculosis- Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association

DirectorResearch Institute of Tuberculosis- Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association

Sarankhuu Amarzaya, Ministry of Health and National Center for Communicable Disease, Mongolia

Technical officer, Ministry of Health Mongolia

Fukushi Morishita, World Health Organization Regional Officer for the Western Pacific (WPRO)

Technical OfficerEnd TB and Leprosy UnitDivision of Programmes of Disease ControlWHO WPRO

Tauhid Islam, World Health Organization Regional Officer for the Western Pacific (WPRO)

CoordinatorEnd TB and Leprosy UnitDivision of Programmes of Disease ControlWHO WPRO

References

Kerri Viney, Scientist, Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment, Care and Innovation Unit, Global TB Programme, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland (vineyk@who.int)

Professor Ben J Marais, Infectious Diseases Clinician, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Co-Director, Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity (MBI),

University of Sydney, Australia (ben.marais@health.nsw.gov.au)

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Published

2021-01-25

Issue

Section

Case Report / Case Series