AIS Strengthens Integration of Tobacco Control for TB Patients

Capture of TOT session for TB-Tobacco counselling

Myanmar has high prevalence of tobacco consumption and is a considerable obstacle to TB control efforts because tobacco use increases the risk of developing TB, slows the recovery from TB, and undermines treatment outcomes. Recognizing this obstacle, the AIS Activity, in collaboration with partners, is initiating efforts to integrate tobacco control activities into TB projects, aiming to enhance TB treatment outcomes and reduce the public health threat posed by TB in Myanmar.

In early May 2024, the Myanmar Anti-TB Association (MATA), with support from AIS and led by The Union, conducted a two-day Training of Trainers (TOT) session on integrated tobacco control activities in Thaketa MATA HIV/TB AIS fixed clinic as a pilot project site and will scale up the integration of tobacco and TB control activities in MATA clinics.

The TOT program equips healthcare providers with essential skills to seamlessly integrate tobacco control measures into TB treatment protocols. Participants are trained in effective tobacco cessation practices and patient counseling methods to manage tobacco control initiatives among people with TB, who face heightened health risks due to smoking and TB.

The collaboration between The Union, CPI, and MATA underscores the importance of integrated health initiatives in addressing complex public health issues. By empowering healthcare providers with cessation techniques and counseling skills, the program aims to reduce smoking rates among people with TB, ultimately improving overall health outcomes.

Furthermore, the ripple effect of trained healthcare providers educating their peers and patients is expected to amplify the impact of the AIS project. This holistic approach not only enhances treatment outcomes for people with TB but also tackles the dual burden of TB and tobacco-related illnesses, fostering healthier communities across Myanmar.