The Strategic Plan for Control of Tuberculosis in Australia: 2011 – 2015

National Tuberculosis Advisory Committee – Work Plan

Page last updated: 07 March 2014

NTAC Work Plan – Endorsed by CDNA on 6 June 2012.

Goal 1 - To ensure sound tuberculosis (TB) control through rapid diagnosis, treatment and notification of TB.

Outcomes:

  • Stakeholder awareness campaign strategy developed.
  • NTAC Website (including TB information portal) developed and maintained.
  • Policy documents published:
    • National workforce policy statement.
    • Essential requirements for a TB control program in Australia.
    • Guidelines for Australian mycobacteriology laboratories.

Note that other policy documents are given as outcomes under subsequent goals.

  • Performance indicators for TB control set and reported against in annual reports.
  • Gaps in supply of and access to diagnostic consumables and TB medication reported annually (CDNA and Health).

Objective

1.1 Maintain awareness and education of all stakeholders, including professionals and local communities, of the continuing importance of TB control within Australia.

Action

  • Develop a strategy for awareness campaigns for primary care, organisations representing high risk groups and other key stakeholders.1
  • Publish national practice guidelines for TB prevention and control.
  • Ensure ready access to TB materials and resources.
  • Develop a plan for recruitment, training and retention of the TB workforce.

Objective

1.2 Ensure accurate and timely diagnosis.

Action

  • Define the minimum requirements for the provision and availability of specialised dedicated TB services within jurisdictions to diagnose, treat and manage people with TB.
  • Surveillance and monitoring delays in presentation and accurate diagnosis of TB.
  • Ensure the continued provision of safe, timely and accurate laboratory diagnosis of TB.

Objective

1.3 Ensure timely access to appropriate treatment.

Action

  • Develop a national strategy for long term assured supply of quality TB diagnostics and medications.
  • Ensure that the management of TB and LTBI are accessible and provided free of charge to individuals.
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Objective

1.4 Encourage communications amongst and between all stakeholders.

Action

  • Develop fora for expert groups and stakeholders to provide advice (as required) and exchange information to promote TB prevention and control.

Goal 2 - To improve surveillance and reporting.

Outcome:

  • Combined notification and laboratory data, as well as other surveillance data, published by World TB Day in the second year after the year of reporting.

Objective

2.1 Ensure timely and accurate reporting of TB to all levels.

Action

  • Achieve real time national reporting of combined clinical and laboratory data.
  • Establish deadlines and process for jurisdictional, national and international reporting.
  • Investigate feasibility of new national TB data system.

Goal 3 - To eliminate TB in the Australian-born population.

Outcomes:

  • TB SoNG published.
  • Analysis on TB and children published.
  • Occurrence of TB transmission in Australia reported:
    • Minimum standards for contract tracing established (in TB SoNG) and report on how well this is adhered to within states/territories.
    • Rates of TB in Australian-born children of recently arrived migrant parents reported.
  • National policy (shared with DIBP) on pre and post migration screening of TB established and monitor its effectiveness.

Objective

3.1. Prevent the transmission of TB within Australia.

Action2, 3

  • Optimise pre-visa screening.
  • Clarify the status of TB in the Australian Indigenous population.
  • To describe more clearly the burden of TB in children born in Australia.
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Objective

3.2. Ensure prompt and effective contact tracing.

Action2, 3

  • To set a national standard for contact tracing.
  • Ensure the quality, consistency and efficiency of practice for screening contacts of TB cases.

Goal 4 - To reduce difference in the incidence of TB between the overall Australian rate and specific higher risk groups.

Outcomes:

  • National guideline for the management of LTBI published.
  • National guideline for health care worker screening published.
  • IGRA position statement published.
  • BCG information and recommendations paper published.

Objective

4.1 Enhance the extent and effectiveness of special TB programs for high risk groups, including:

  • Active case finding, particularly in recent migrants;
  • Detection and management of TB infection.

Action4

  • Define the higher risk groups and identify gaps to inform policy and development of special TB programs for those groups.
  • Improve consistency and effectiveness of active TB case finding activities in refugees in Australia.
  • Develop national policy statement for the management of LTBI.
  • Collaborate with educational institutions to achieve better TB related outcomes in student populations.
  • Promote the implementation of effective health care worker screening and education.

Objective

4.2 Work collaboratively with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

Action4

  • Promote sharing of information between DIBP and NTAC and collaborate in activities to reduce TB in people arriving from high-incidence countries.

Goal 5 - To prevent the development and transmission of drug resistant TB in Australia.

Outcomes:

  • MDR-TB incidences in Australia published.
  • MDR-TB information paper updated and published.
  • A national policy statement of infection control practices for TB in clinical settings published.
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Objective

5.1 Ensure prompt detection of drug resistance.

Action

  • Investigate opportunities to improve specimen collection for culture.
  • Emphasise the safe, timely and accurate laboratory diagnosis of MDR-TB.
  • Inform DIBP on the management of visa applicants that have a history of drug resistant TB or are at risk of drug resistant TB.

Objective

5.2 Ensure effective case management of all cases of TB.

Action

  • Prevent acquired MDR-TB.
  • Emphasise the appropriate case management of MDR-TB.
  • Ensure that all MDR-TB is managed by a central expert group.

Objective

5.3 Ensure good infection control practices in clinical and laboratory settings.

Action

  • Review quarterly transmission of TB in health care settings.
  • Establish national policy statement of infection control practices for TB in clinical settings.5

Goal 6 - To assist global TB control activities.

Outcomes:

  • Membership expanded to include a regional engagement specialist.
  • Membership of key regional TB control groups maintained, in particular:
    • Western Pacific Region (WPR) Technical Advisory Group
    • Clinical Collaboration Group
    • The Union
  • A description of regional activities of Australian TB workers reported, including laboratory and TB program capacity building, and annually review a register of these activities.

Objective

6.1 Advocate and participate in actions towards TB control in the region.

Action

  • Increase engagement with regional partners in TB control, particularly with reference to the Western Province of Papua New Guinea.
  • Better define NTAC’s role internationally.
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Objective

6.2 Contribute to the Western Pacific Region (WPR) Technical Advisory Group.

Action
  • Maintain membership on the WPR TAG.

  1. NTAC agreed to combine Actions 1.1a and 1.1b at the 28 August 2012 teleconference.
  2. The most important actions towards this goal are the activities under Goal 1 and therefore are not included here.
  3. To identify high risk populations and target activities towards them is covered under Goal 4.
  4. The most important actions towards this goal are the activities under Goal 1 and therefore are not included here.
  5. Action 5.3b - It is noted that infection control is relevant to all forms of TB, rather than drug resistant TB alone.