MSH Commemorates World Tuberculosis Day 2012: "Stop TB in My Lifetime"
World TB Day celebration in Ghana (Credit: Tristan Bayly, KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, Netherlands)
On March 24, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) joins the global community in commemorating World Tuberculosis Day (World TB Day) and joining the global Stop TB Partnership's call to "Stop TB in my lifetime."
To control TB and save lives, it is vital to have the systems in place to improve early detection and treatment. Detecting and treating TB correctly the first time acts as a preventative measure for multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). In more than 26 countries, MSH is building partnerships to integrate TB services with HIV services and primary health care, such as services for diabetes.
MSH is contributing to the global Stop TB Partnership goals of treating 50 million people for TB and three million people for both TB and HIV by 2015.
This year, the global Stop TB Partnership is asking for everyone to make an individual call to "Stop TB in my lifetime." The theme includes two goals: "In their lifetimes, today's children should expect to see a world where no one gets sick with TB. In their lifetimes, women and men should expect to see a world where no one dies from TB." Visit MyStopTB.org for more information.
MSH is also committed to the partnership's goal of decreasing TB cases to less than one per million by 2050. A new level of effort is necessary to treat, cure, and ultimately reach zero deaths caused by TB, HIV-associated TB, or MDR-TB in children.
MSH and partners are working to combat TB globally
Since 2005, as a partner in USAID's Tuberculosis Control Assistance Program (TB CAP), and TB CARE I, MSH has been leading efforts to strengthen national TB programs in Afghanistan, Ghana, South Sudan, and providing substantial assistance in nearly a dozen other countries like Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, Philippines, Mozambique, Nigeria, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Zambia.
Since 2007, through the Grant Management Solutions Project, MSH has provided assistance to more than 40 countries in managing grants from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
MSH also manages large USAID projects with strong TB components that are building human resources, strengthening pharmaceutical and laboratory management (SIAPS), and integrating HIV & TB diagnosis and treatment. In 2009, MSH became a partner in USAID's TB Task Order 2015, through which MSH supports the expansion of TB services in DRC and Tanzania and takes a key role in strengthening countries' ability to respond to quality DOTS expansion.
In 2011, MSH began leading USAID's Help Ethiopia Address the Low TB Performance (HEAL TB) initiative, which improves case detection, strengthens referral linkages to the community, and assists the Federal Republic of Ethiopia and targeted regions, to improve, expand, and sustain TB services. HEAL TB is also focused on improving program management of TB and MDR-TB, providing tighter TB/HIV collaboration, and strengthening the health system of Ethiopia.
Here are a few project highlights:
- In Afghanistan, through the TB CARE I project, community-based directly observed therapy, short-course (CB DOTS), has raised community awareness of TB and has oriented over 8,800 health workers on the correct protocols. The Urban DOTS program has engaged public and private health facilities in Kabul city, and has drastically improved the quality of TB services in Kabul city's health facilities and an increase in case detection since 2010.
- In Ethiopia, through the MSH/TB CARE I project, the main areas of focus have been strengthening TB laboratories, TB DOTS, TB/HIV collaborative activities, health systems strengthening (HSS)/ACSM and drug supply management. MSH Ethiopia is piloting TB case detection Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Remarkable increase in TB suspect identification & smear positivity is already observed in the pilot zone implying that there were missed opportunities in early identification of cases at service delivery areas. MSH/TB CARE I Ethiopia will soon be evaluating and documenting its results for use during countrywide scale up.
- In Ghana, through the TB CARE I project, a countrywide TB situation analysis has been completed; this has accurately documented DOTS health-facility coverage and has assessed the availability of other services required for scaling up TB case detection in Ghana.
- TB CARE I Indonesia has developed and implemented a drug management assessment tool for the Programmatic Management for Drug-resistant Tuberculosis (PMDT) program; produced a national policy document for the Global Fund exit strategy; and implemented monthly data monitoring of e-TB Manager (MSH tool) to progress the results and data Quality Assurance (QA) checks.
- In Tanzania, through TB Task Order 2015, an evaluation of the standard operating procedures has shown a direct impact, with an increase in case detection at several health facilities. There has been an increased commitment and capacity of healthcare providers in identifying TB patients; improved TB care infrastructures; increased support from the community and from political leaders; and an increased spirit of teamwork within the TB/HIV health facility teams.
We are also focusing on improving the Monitoring and Evaluation system in multiple countries worldwide. MSH through TB CARE I, and in collaboration with KNCV [Dutch Tuberculosis Foundation], WHO and MEASURE Evaluation, is supporting monitoring and evaluation efforts of National TB Programs. A community of practice involving more than 16 countries has been established through which virtual trainings are conducted, issues of interest are discussed, and experiences are shared.
How MSH countries are commemorating World TB Day
A Dari banner posted at Afghanistan health facilities, intended to reach any from the Afghanistan population who visit the facilities. It reads: "Stop TB in my lifetime: If you have cough for more than two weeks, attend the nearest health facility for examination. Tuberculosis is a curable disease. Its diagnosis and treatment is free in all health facilities."
Afghanistan is celebrating World TB Day in 13 provinces and more than 250 health facilities. The USAID-funded and MSH/TB CARE I project and National Tuberculosis Program Afghanistan developed information, education, and communication messages in two languages describing the signs and symptoms of TB and how and where people can be treated countrywide.
Ghana is celebrating World TB Day with a press briefing on Friday, March 23rd, with the Minister of Health, the World Health Organization Country Representative, USAID officials, and other dignitaries. MSH/TB CARE I will display posters at the venue to highlight the need for increasing TB case detection with a focus on children. MSH will highlight the need for improving TB detection and care among vulnerable groups such as people living with HIV and children.
TB CARE I Ethiopia and HEAL TB are active members of the World TB Day commemoration steering committee organized by the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health. TB CARE I served as technical advisor and is sponsoring selected members from the TB media forum to attend and report on the commemoration. HEAL TB also is working with the Amhara and Oromia regional health bureaus for their events.
On March 23rd, TB CARE I in Nigeria will officially introduce the e-TB Manager at the Minister of Health's commissioning of the MDR-TB treatment center in the Lagos Mainland Hospital. In partnership with the National TB Program, TB CARE I in Nigeria is promoting awareness about TB control efforts and motivating health workers to implement standard operating procedures for improving TB case detection in Kano State.
MSH in Tanzania is participating with the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Programme in commemorating World TB Day through active case findings, including screening school children for TB, participating in a radio program highlighting the use of standard operating procedures in improving TB case detection at the health facility level, and participating in commemoration day activities in Mtwara on March 24th.
Join MSH worldwide in making your voice heard. Visit mystoptb.org and make an individual call to stop TB in your lifetime.