The World Health Organization (WHO) is releasing new guidance to support national strategic planning for the tuberculosis (TB) response. The guidance encourages the use of a people-centeric focus in the development of national TB strategic plan (NSP). It highlights the importance of government stewardship and ownership, promotes alignment with national health strategy and other health programmes, emphasizes multi stakeholder and multi-sectoral engagement as one of the key steps for multisectoral accountability for TB.
“The guidance builds on the latest WHO guidelines and empasizes the need for strengthening accountability across all sectors in the NSP, in close alignment with the broader health and development agenda in the country”, said Dr Tereza Kasaeva, Director of WHO’s Global Tuberculosis Programme. “It highlights the importance of comprehensive and inclusive engagement of relevant stakeholders and partners, including those from civil society, during NSP development and implementation to build ownership and facilitate planning and roll out of quality TB services that are responsive to the needs of people and affected communities”.
A national strategic plan for TB is a key document that guides the national TB response through interventions within and beyond the health sector. It outlines the overall goal(s), strategies and interventions prioritized by national health authorities and stakeholders, and how these are coordinated across various sectors in line with the latest WHO guidelines and tools. The NSP translates global, regional and national commitments into national and subnational targets and activities to be implemented to achieve these targets and provides the basis for mobilization of domestic and external resources for the TB response.
The Guidance for national strategic planning for tuberculosis was developed to better align with global commitments and latest developments in TB and in public health and builds on lessons learned from using the 2015 toolkit. This document will be complemented by the Guidance for conducting reviews of TB programmes, that will be published by the end of this year.
The guidance is intended for use in developing standalone TB strategic plans, or in developing TB interventions as part of multidisease or national health sector plans. It describes good practices and steps for developing a TB NSP in line with WHO’s End TB Strategy, and the proposed structure and components of the TB NSP.
This guidance is an update to the 2015 Toolkit to develop a national strategic plan for TB prevention, care and control. The guidance was developed with input from national TB programmes, technical partners, civil society, WHO technical staff at country and regional level, and from various departments at headquarters, and other experts in TB and in strategic plan development.
Source: World Health Organization