WMA Resolution on Tuberculosis

Adopted by the 57th WMA General Assembly, Pilanesberg, South Africa, October 2006


  1. According to the World Health Organization, tuberculosis is a problem affecting over 9 million people every year and ranks among the leading infectious diseases with an annual incidence rate of 1%. The Eastern European region is particularly affected.
  2. In developing countries, the incidence of tuberculosis has risen dramatically due mainly to its prevalence in areas with a high rate of HIV/AIDS. The increased movement of populations has also exacerbated the problem.
  3. The multi-resistant forms of tuberculosis, a by-product of original bacilli resistant to the action of the main tuberculosis medicines, also present great difficulties in controlling the disease.
  4. Radiological detection and sputum examination targeted at high-risk subjects continues to be an essential element of tuberculosis prevention.
  5. Among migrants, the homeless, prisoners and other high risk groups, such a strategy is particularly efficient in preventing epidemics.
  6. The reactivation of screening and follow-up programmes and the application on a large scale of rapid and strictly supervised daily treatment should help address the epidemic.
  7. The vaccination policy for BCG (bacille Calmette-Guérin) should be targeted at children from their first vaccination.


  1. The World Medical Association, in consultation with the WHO and national and international health authorities and organisations, will continue to work for the improvement of tuberculosis treatment and surveillance and will also promote surveys of individual cases, the reactivation of screening and surveillance programs, and the large-scale application of daily care delivery and treatment supervision.
  2. The WMA supports calls for adequate financial, material and human resources for tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS prevention, including adequately trained health care providers and adequate public health infrastructure, and will participate with health professionals in providing information on tuberculosis and its treatment.
  3. The WMA encourages continuing professional development for healthcare professionals in the field of tuberculosis. Specialized courses on multi-drug-resistant TB are particularly important.
  4. The WMA calls on its National Member Associations to support the WHO in its DOTS strategy and in other work to promote the more effective management of tuberculosis.