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TB Notes 3, 2007
Director's Letter
Highlights from State and Local Programs
  Georgia Statewide TB Training
NTCA Workshop Poster Contest
2007 EIS Conference a Success for DTBE
National Tuberculosis Indicators Project (NTIP): An Update
Evaluation Team Visits TB Isolation Village in Thailand
TB Education and Training Network Updates
  Member Highlight
  Cultural Competency Subcommittee Update
Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch Update
  A Review of DTBE’s First Year Using the CDC INFO Call Center
Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch Updates
  TB/HIV Surveillance in Ethiopia
TB Epidemiologic Studies Consortium Updates
  2007 World TB Day: TBESC Sites Across the U.S. Get Involved
  “The First Global Symposium on Interferon-Gamma Assays” 2007
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TB Notes Newsletter

No. 3, 2007

Evaluation Team Visits TB Isolation Village in Thailand

Mae La Camp is located in the Tak Province in northwest Thailand. The camp houses about 45,000 refugees, including the largest number of displaced Burmese in Thailand. When refugees in Mae La Camp are diagnosed with active pulmonary TB, they are transferred to an area at the far southwest part of the camp known as TB Village, overseen by Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

To reach TB Village, one must climb a steep, 500-yard footpath up the hillside. Just before TB Village, there is a storehouse for food and medications. At this point, all visitors, medical staff, and village maintenance staff are required to don an N-95 mask, to be worn at all times while in the village.

A TB Program Evaluation Team recently visited Mae La Camp on the Thai-Burmese border to provide recommendations to CDC's Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ) and to DTBE for improving the effectiveness and practicality of the new Tuberculosis Technical Instructions; and to provide recommendations to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of TB in refugees resettling to the United States from Thailand.  The evaluation was led by external TB program consultants, Drs. Charlie Nolan and Gisella Schecter (team co-leaders), and Dr. Sundari Mase.

DGMQ, DTBE, and IOM: Each Has its Own Responsibilities

Each year, about 400,000 immigrants and 50,000 refugees enter the United States from overseas locations. These applicants for US immigration are required to undergo medical screening for diseases of public health significance, referred to as inadmissible conditions, which include infectious TB.

DGMQ has regulatory authority to stipulate the requirements of the overseas medical examination via the technical instructions specific to each inadmissible condition (42 CFR Part 34). DTBE provides subject-matter expertise to DGMQ in overseeing the TB screening portion of the examination.

IOM is providing the required medical screening and TB treatment for refugees.  IOM expects to process 15,000 Burmese refugees from Mae La Camp between April and the end of September 2007 for relocation to the United States. If additional TB cases are identified during the medical screenings, refugees with potentially infectious TB will be transferred from the general camp to TB Village, where they will be placed under a plan of care established between IOM and MSF. Once TB treatment is complete, these refugees will be eligible for relocation to the United States.

Photo of the Evaluation TeamShown here are members of the Evaluation Team, along with MSF and IOM staff, preparing to visit TB Village. Left to right:  MSF staff member; Jay Varma, DTBE Thailand; 2 IOM staff in blue shirts; Tom Navin, DTBE; Tom Shinnick, DTBE (partially hidden); Charlie Nolan, TB consultant; Gisella Schecter, California TB Physician Liaison; Pierre King, IOM; Wanda Walton, DTBE; Drew Posey, DGMQ; Dan Bleed, Thailand TB program.

Reported by Wanda Walton, PhD
Div of TB Elimination


Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
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