1. Scope and purpose

The aim of this guideline is to help improve health outcomes for people with tuberculosis (TB), through improved nutritional care and support. The objectives of the guideline are to provide guidance on nutritional assessment, advice and treatment, for integration into clinical care for people with TB. Five guiding principles for nutritional care and support for people with TB are presented. The focus is on nutrition assessment, counselling and management to improve the clinical care of people with TB. These should be considered an essential part of services for people with TB and can be adapted according to countries’ burden of disease and health-care infrastructure, including human resources capacity.

It is recognized that food assistance¹ is sometimes used in TB programmes for purposes other than nutritional care, especially in food-insecure settings. Specific guidance regarding the role of food assistance as part of a larger package of services intended to improve access and adherence to treatment and to mitigate the financial and social consequences of TB will be addressed elsewhere.

The primary audience for the guideline is health workers providing care to people with TB. However, the guideline is also intended for a wide audience, including policymakers, their expert advisers, and technical and programme staff managing national and subnational TB programmes and nongovernmental agencies that deliver TB services, and for policy-makers involved with scaling up TB prevention, diagnosis and treatment, including adherence to and completion of therapy. This document presents the guiding principles, key recommendations and a summary of the supporting evidence. Further details of the evidence base are provided in Annexes 1 and 2 and other documents listed in the references.

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