Working together with businesses
Guidance on TB and TB/HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care in the workplace
Tuberculosis (TB) is a treatable and curable disease that strikes adults in their prime working years and keeps people from supporting themselves and their families. HIV is preventable and manageable with antiretroviral therapy and also affects adults of working age. In recent years, the gamut of TB and HIV prevention, treatment and care has expanded from the domain of the public sector to non-state sectors including voluntary, corporate and private care providers. Governments have recognized that a multi-stakeholder approach is needed to maximize efforts to address the dual epidemics of TB and HIV. This has resulted in important gains towards better care for people living with HIV and TB across the globe.
For the business sector, there is growing recognition of the implications of TB and HIV on the workforce and profitability. In high TB and HIV prevalent settings, the impact of these diseases on the workforce includes decreased productivity, absenteeism, high turnover and the risk of further TB transmission. This reverberates further, affecting surrounding communities, consumers and the economy as a whole.
On the macro-level, the engagement of workplaces complements global efforts to tackle the TB and HIV epidemics, and contributes to achieving the targets set out in the Millennium Development Goals, World Health Organization (WHO) Stop TB Strategy, the Stop TB Partnership Global Plan and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Strategy.
To address the need for guiding principles to initiate and scale up the engagement of the business sector in TB and HIV care, WHO in collaboration with ILO, UNAIDS and other partners conducted an assessment of business sector initiatives to address TB and TB/HIV,documented working examples on the ground, and organized an expert consultation to discuss and draw lessons from available evidence.
The purpose of this document is to capitalize on the untapped potential of the business sector to respond to these two epidemics. Built on the 2003 guidelines on contribution of workplaces to TB control prepared jointly by the ILO and WHO, these guidelines should help capitalize on increased awareness about TB and HIV and their impact on businesses, and strengthen partnerships between national TB programmes, national HIV programmes, and the business sector to improve TB and HIV prevention, treatment and care activities. Existing guidance to facilitate business participation predominantly focuses on HIV. This document is therefore principally centred on TB prevention, treatment and care and it’s linkages with HIV.
This document is designed to provide guidance to TB and HIV programme managers, employers, workers organizations, occupational health staff and other partners on the need and ways to work in partnership to design and implement workplace TB/HIV prevention, treatment and care programmes integrated with occupational health and HIV workplace programmes where relevant.