Tuberculosis in migrants - screening, surveillance and ethics

Gabriella Scandurra*, Chris Degeling, Paul Douglas, Claudia C. Dobler, Ben Marais

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

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Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading infectious cause of human mortality and is responsible for nearly 2 million deaths every year. It is often regarded as a 'silent killer' because it predominantly affects the poor and marginalized, and disease outbreaks occur in 'slow motion' compared to Ebola or coronavirus 2 (COVID-19). In low incidence countries, TB is predominantly an imported disease and TB control in migrants is pivotal for countries to progress towards TB elimination in accordance with the World Health Organisations (WHO's) End TB strategy. This review provides a brief overview of the different screening approaches and surveillance processes that are in place in low TB incidence countries. It also includes a detailed discussion of the ethical issues related to TB screening of migrants in these settings and the different interests that need to be balanced. Given recognition that a holistic approach that recognizes and respects basic human rights is required to end TB, the review considers the complexities that require consideration in low-incidence countries that are aiming for TB elimination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2020


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