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03 December 2023

Ministry of Health issues new TB guideline

By Staff

The Ministry of Health is currently preparing for the distribution of the national tuberculosis guideline in all government, semi government and private sectors to become a national reference when dealing with tuberculosis disease.

Dr. Mahmood Fikri, Assistant Undersecretary for Health Policies at the Ministry of Health, said the ministry aims for maintaining the country free of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and following the recommendations of the World Health Organization “WHO” as well as taking the necessary procedures to face different health challenges.

“Updating the guideline came as a result of the recommendations of the world health organization and we formed a special committee from the ministry itself and the health authorities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai,” he said.

The guideline that is issued in English language aims for addressing medical and technical staff to deal with patients and employees of the national tuberculosis program to fight tuberculosis. It consists of an introduction and six sections about the epidemiology of the disease in terms of the prevalence and mortality rates as well as the challenges of fighting the disease such as emergence of strains resistance to the treatment, relation of the disease to Aids.

Dr. Kalthoom Mohamed, Director of Specialized Healthcare Department and Director of Tuberculosis National Program at the Ministry of Health, stated that the guideline gives a brief explanation about the role, goals and objectives of the national tuberculosis program in the UAE as part of the ministry’s strategy to fight tuberculosis.

“The second section included a detailed explanation about the methods of diagnosing the disease clinically and classifying tuberculosis in terms of location, type of infection and treatment results”, she added.

The third section discusses tuberculosis treatment methods, kinds of medicines, and ways of applying short term treatment policies according to the latest recommendations of the world health organization. It also emphasizes the relation of tuberculosis treatment in relation to pregnant women or patients who suffer from hepatic or renal insufficiency. In addition, the fourth section highlighted the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of children tuberculosis.

Both fifth and sixth sections discuss direct contacts with TB patients, determining the duration of the disease, evaluation of patients during that time and the required treatment procedures.

Dr Kalthoom indicated the importance of notifying and recording any TB cases to ensure ongoing follow up and evaluation of the disease through the records derived statistics.

It is noted that the doctors are the most people to benefit from the guideline as it covers pulmonary TB. It is also useful for x-ray, lab and preventive medicine technicians. Universities and health colleges may benefit from the guideline through applying for an application in the ministry.