“The purpose of the International Standards for Tuberculosis Care (ISTC) is to describe a widely accepted level of care that all practitioners, public and private, should seek to achieve in managing patients who have, are suspected of having, or are at increased risk of developing tuberculosis. The standards are intended to promote the effective engage- ment of all providers in delivering high quality care for patients of all ages, including those with sputum smear-positive and sputum smear-negative pulmonary tuberculosis, extrapul- monary tuberculosis, tuberculosis caused by drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (M. tuberculosis) organisms, and tuberculosis combined with HIV infection and other co-morbidities. Moreover, there is increasing recognition of the importance for pro- viders to employ proven approaches to screening and prevention of tuberculosis in per- sons at increased risk of developing the disease.
The basic principles of care for persons with, or suspected of having, tuberculosis are the same worldwide: a diagnosis should be established promptly and accurately; standard- ized treatment regimens of proven ef cacy should be used, together with appropriate treatment support and supervision; the response to treatment should be monitored; and the essential public health responsibilities must be carried out. Prompt, accurate diagno- sis and appropriate treatment are the most effective means of interrupting transmission of M. tuberculosis. As well as being essential for good patient care, they are the foundation of the public health response to tuberculosis. Thus, all providers who undertake evaluation and treatment of patients with tuberculosis must recognize that, not only are they delivering care to an individual, they are assuming an important public health function that entails a high level of responsibility to the community and to the individual patient.”