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Tuberculosis in times of COVID-19

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  • Tuberculosis in times of COVID-19

    First published September 17, 2021

    Alexandra Jaye Zimmer1,2, Joel Shyam Klinton2,3, Charity Oga-Omenka1,2, Petra Heitkamp2,3, Carol Nawina Nyirenda4, Jennifer Furin5, Madhukar Pai1,2


    The COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread disruptions to tuberculosis (TB) care and service delivery in 2020, setting back progress in the fight against TB by several years. As newer COVID-19 variants continue to devastate many low and middle-income countries in 2021, the extent of this setback is likely to increase. Despite these challenges, the TB community can draw on the comprehensive approaches used to manage COVID-19 to help restore progress and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on TB. Our team developed the ‘Swiss Cheese Model for Ending TB’ to illustrate that it is only through multisectoral collaborations that address the personal, societal and health system layers of care that we will end TB. In this paper, we examine how COVID-19 has impacted the different layers of TB care presented in the model and explore how we can leverage some of the lessons and outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic to strengthen the global TB response.