Table 1– Justification for the development of European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA)-specific standards in the area of diagnosis, treatment, HIV/tuberculosis (TB) and comorbidities, public health and prevention
The majority of EU/EEA countries have a low incidence of TB. However,
a heterogeneous setting exists: some countries have high and
intermediate levels of TB, with varying levels of MDR-TB and HIV/TB
co-infection; and some countries border non-EU countries with a higher
TB and MDR-TB burden.
TB services are fully integrated and merged within the health system in
the majority of EU/EEA countries. This presents peculiarities in
allocating responsibilities for the delivery of TB care.
The EU/EEA countries have a long-established tradition of TB control
that has evolved over past decades. Implementation of new tools and a
high standard of diagnosis and care is often present in EU countries.
The EU/EEA countries are committed to pursue elimination, sharing a
common platform (based on the Wolfheze documents and the EU
Framework action plan) and the ECDC-driven surveillance system.
In spite of efforts to introduce ISTC among EU/EEA healthcare providers
(including clinicians), their implementation has been suboptimal. A
more tailored set of standards could potentially improve acceptability among clinical networks.
  • MDR: multidrug-resistant; ECDC: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control; ISTC: International Standards for Tuberculosis Care.