Management Sciences for Health's Tuberculosis Work Recognized at Union World Conference

Management Sciences for Health's Tuberculosis Work Recognized at Union World Conference

 {Photo Credit: Matt Iwanowicz/MSH}The MSH tuberculosis team delegation at a conference retreat.Photo Credit: Matt Iwanowicz/MSH

Management Sciences for Health’s (MSH’s) significant TB work was recognized as some of the best during this year’s 48th Annual World Conference on Lung Health that took place in Guadalajara, Mexico from October 11-14, 2017.

MSH staff from seven countries participated in a variety of symposia, workshops and presentations. MSH also produced three symposia, three workshops, 36 posters, 24 oral presentations, and six technical briefs and technical highlights to share our experience and expertise on a range of topics, including GeneXpert implementation scale-up; TB/HIV/diabetes integration model; QuanTB; Urban DOTS implementation, and more.

Of the hundreds of presentations, three MSH posters and one oral presentation were acknowledged among the top 16 best: Challenge TB Afghanistan, Challenge TB Bangladesh, and TRACK TB in Uganda. MSH’s Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program also received top recognition for a workshop on the challenges of quantifying TB medicines and regimens. The SIAPS-developed QuanTB tool has seen promising results at the global and country level using data for decision making, serving as an early warning system to mitigate stock outs, manage potential expires, and minimize wastage, thereby leading to better use of donor funds, country money, and reallocation.

The major theme of this year’s conference was improved case finding, access to quality TB care and a multisectoral approach beyond the health sector are some of the important ways to accelerate toward elimination of TB. Similar to other recent international global health conferences, the message of intersectionality played an important role, with several global experts discussed accelerating progress toward ending TB through multisectoral actions.

Childhood TB was another area of emphasis, one where MSH has ample experience. Opening plenary keynote speaker Dr. Jeffrey Starke emphasized contact investigation should be an entry point to implement childhood TB programs. He also highlighted the importance of identifying gaps in TB services and finding missing cases, calling TB “a treatable and preventable disease that is not being treated, and certainly not being prevented. Only about one-third of the cases are even recorded and reported.”

MSH continues to be at the forefront of showing how TB innovations in TB prevention and treatment are needed throughout health systems. Better health system performance begins with inspired and inspiring leadership, sound management, and consistent, transparent governance. Advances must take into consideration central, district, and local environments, with capacity building and accessible technical expertise to ensure correct use and assure sustainability.