Tuberculosis Overview

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Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the top infectious diseases worldwide. It is preventable and curable, however in 2019 alone, there were still over 10 million new cases and 1.5 million TB deaths worldwide. The African region is highly affected and accounts for a quarter of the worldwide figures. In the same year, it saw approximately 2.5 million people infected with TB and over half a million TB-related deaths registered.

Throughout this course you will learn all about TB, from what it is and how it spreads, to how to manage and control its spread. Furthermore, you will learn about its pathophysiology, aetiology, groups of people at risk of TB infection, signs and symptoms and how TB is diagnosed.  

By the end of this course, you will be able to: 

  • Explain the TB disease burden (nationally and globally) including incidences, morbidity, mortality, and drug-resistant TB.
  • Discuss the pathophysiology of TB (pulmonary and extrapulmonary TB).
  • Recognise the signs and symptoms of pulmonary TB, and associated risk factors for developing TB infection. 
  • Discuss infection prevention and control strategies for TB including referral processes to local TB services, lifestyle advice and public health education. 

These modules will consider the various challenges of TB from the context of TB aetiology to global issues. They will examine the positive role that pharmacists and the wider pharmacy workforce can have in the surveillance, prevention, reduction and ultimately elimination of TB. 

Before we begin, have a go at completing the following quiz. The purpose of this quiz is solely to measure your baseline understanding prior to taking the course. There will be another quiz at the end of the course so you can compare scores and check your progress. Please note, this quiz can only be attempted once.

Tuberculosis programme acknowledgements

Author: Timothy Rennie
Reviewers: Manjiri Gharat, Manjula Halai, Chiko Savieli