Meeting of the Tuberculosis Surveillance Network
Every other year EU/EEA representatives meet to discuss the specifics of surveillance in the EU/EEA. The aim is to discuss TB epidemiology and progress towards elimination in Europe.
The 2014 meeting of the surveillance network for tuberculosis (TB) in Europe was a two-day event held in Sofia, Bulgaria. More than 40 participants from 26 EU/EEA and EU candidate countries attended the meeting organised by ECDC and debated the main findings of the latest TB surveillance and monitoring report. Among the topics discussed were treatment outcome monitoring, especially for multidrug-resistant TB, options for improving TB surveillance, standards for European surveillance and core competencies of tuberculosis surveillance experts.
The participants identified the need for integration of TB molecular typing data and epidemiological data. Furthermore, EU harmonised practices should be defined in case national or international clusters are identified.
Also the need for data collection on co-morbidities and social determinants at EU level should be investigated. According to the network, HIV testing, reporting on uptake of HIV testing and HIV status in the TB country-level surveillance systems has to be improved.
The Framework Action Plan to Fight Tuberculosis in the EU was discussed in working groups, with a special focus on the objectives for surveillance and identifying gaps.
Although the ECDC annual surveillance reports are appreciated as they are, the participants asked for more detailed technical notes. Country-specific background information on surveillance systems should be compiled and made available. Also, participants requested the treatment outcome data to be presented according to WHO cohort definitions.
Every other year EU/EEA representatives meet to discuss the specifics of surveillance in the EU/EEA. The aim is to discuss TB epidemiology and progress towards elimination in Europe. Network members learn about changes in the common metadata and case definition and share good reporting practices to improve data quality and comparability.