WMA's online Course on Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis launched Worldwide

The WMA today launched an online multi-drug resistant (MDR-TB) tuberculosis training course. The unique web-based course has been designed for physicians to help them diagnose, prevent and treat MDR-TB.

Today's launch, on occasion of the World Conference on Lung Health of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease in Cape Town, follows a successful pilot of the course among physicians in South Africa .

After the pilot was launched in March this year, 70 doctors enrolled for the course. Of these, 40 doctors completed the course by end August and on average, they took four weeks to complete the course. On completion, the doctors were issued with two certificates as part of their continuing professional development.

Dr Otmar Kloiber, secretary general of the WMA, said:

'Every year almost two million people die from this disease and there are more than 400,000 news cases of MDR TB. It is vital that more physicians are properly trained to meet this public health challenge.

'The World Medical Association is in the forefront of seeking the improvement of tuberculosis treatment and surveillance. In particular it supports the World Health Organisation campaign for effective and high quality care for tuberculosis. We also support the calls for adequate financial, material and human resources for tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS prevention, including adequately trained health care professionals and adequate public health infrastructure.

'This new course will provide physicians with the latest international guidelines and treatment protocols for MDR-TB care in their daily work. It will allow physicians to receive credits as part of their continuing medical education programme. It is available in English and will be translated into Spanish, French, Russian and Chinese. Access to the course is free of charge from the WMA website or on the education server of the Norwegian Medical Association. A handbook version of the course will also be available next year.'

The course has been developed in collaboration with the Foundation for Professional Development of the South African Medical Association together with the Norwegian Medical Association and the German Medical Association. The course has been made possible by an educational grant from Eli Lilly, who form part of the MDR-TB partnership of organisations working together to improve tuberculosis control worldwide and supporting the Global Plan to Stop TB 2006-2015.

The WMA, with the Norwegian Medical Association, already runs successful web-based courses on human rights and ethics for prison doctors and on fundamentals of medical ethics.