Background and methods
1. This is the 8th WHO annual report on global TB control. It includes data on case notifications and treatment outcomes from all national TB control programmes that have reported to WHO, together with an analysis of plans, budgets, expenditures, and constraints on DOTS expansion for 22 high-burden countries (HBCs). Eight consecutive years of data are now available to assess progress towards the 2005 global targets for case detection (70%) and treatment success (85%).
2. During 2003, a standard form for reporting surveillance and financial data was sent to 210 countries via WHO regional offices. The form requests information about policy and practice in TB control, about the number and types of TB cases notified in 2002, and about the outcomes of treatment and retreatment for smear-positive cases registered in 2001. It also asks for information about NTP budgets, expenditures, and funding sources, and about the way in which the general health infrastructure is used for TB control.
3. National programme managers in the 22 HBCs were also asked, via a separate questionnaire and interviews, to summarize plans for TB control from 2003 onwards, focusing on activities to improve political commitment, expand access to DOTS, strengthen diagnosis, improve treatment outcomes, ensure adequate staffing, and improve programme monitoring and supervision. They were asked about collaborative TB/HIV activities, the management of drug resistance, and the development of partnerships, and to identify major constraints to reaching TB control targets.