Tuberculosis: standards and resources for quality improvement in resource limited settings

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Tuberculosis is a significant problem, infecting nearly 9 million new patients per year and killing about 2 million a year. The fight to eradicate TB is located primarily in countries that are resource poor and disproportionately affected by HIV and the development of drug resistant TB. The primary means with which to affect TB globally are to decrease transmission locally, mainly by effective identification, diagnosis, and treatment of TB patients. Providing quality care to TB patients is therefore essential to the global effort to eradicate TB. This review describes the problem of TB, identifies the essential services of TB control programs and standards of care, and reviews the available resources for quality improvement in resource limited settings. Finally, recommendations for a quality improvement plan for a TB control program in resource limited settings are made.

tuberculosis, TB, resource limited settings, quality improvement, quality assurance, developing countries