TUBERCULOSIS CONTROL PROGRAMME IN SERBIA 2005-2015: RESULTS AND CHALLENGES
The most significant progress in tuberculosis (TB) control worldwide over the last two decades has been achieved through the development and implementation of World Health Organization strategies. The National TB Prevention and Control Programme in Serbia has been implemented under the Programme for Population Protection from Infectious Diseases. The goal of the programme was to reduce the incidence and mortality of TB and to reach the TB incidence rate of 14 per 100,000 in 2014. The implementation has led to achievement of the programme objective, reducing the TB incidence rate from 32/100,000 in 2005 to 13/100,000 in 2015. Capacities of the health care system to diagnose and treat TB sensitive to first-line anti-tuberculosis drugs have been strengthened, an organized system of diagnosis and treatment of drug-resistant forms of the disease was established, and management of TB and HIV coinfection was improved. The burden of the disease in prisons has been reduced, the active detection of TB cases in populations at special risk has been established, the epidemiological surveillance of TB has been improved and the surveillance has been established over the quality of professional work. However, TB prevention and management in Serbia is not yet at the level of the developed countries in the European Union. It still needs to remain on the list of public health priorities due to the presence of drug-resistant forms of the disease, the combined TB and HIV infection, the increasing number of migrants from areas with high TB burden and possible reversal of epidemiological trends during the social-economic crisis.
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