World TB Day: Building Partnerships to Control TB and Save Lives

March 24 is World Tuberculosis Day. Despite significant effort by the global health community to detect and treat tuberculosis (TB), the number of cases is still rising. To control TB and save lives, it is vital to improve detection and treatment in a comprehensive and sustainable way and to strengthen the systems that support detection and treatment. In more than 30 countries, MSH is building partnerships across sectors—internationally, nationally, and locally—to integrate TB services with HIV services and primary health care. We build skills among health professionals and engage communities in preventing and controlling the disease.

[A group of community volunteers manning a sputum collection point in Malawi welcoming visitors from NTP and TBCAP. Photo Credit; MSH staff.]A group of community volunteers manning a sputum collection point in Malawi welcoming visitors from NTP and TBCAP. Photo Credit; MSH staff.As a member of the global Stop TB Partnership, MSH is contributing to the goal of treating 50 million people for TB and three million people for both TB and HIV by 2015. This year marks the halfway point for meeting those goals, established in 2006. MSH is also committed to the partnership’s goal of decreasing TB cases to less than one per million by 2050. We share the vision that children born at the start of this millennium will see TB eliminated in their lifetimes.

Here are a few examples of the many successes MSH has helped our partners achieve:

Afghanistan: In Afghanistan, MSH’s work has contributed to increasing the detection of tuberculosis from 24% to more than 70%. Nearly 90% of detected cases are now successfully treated.

Brazil: In Brazil, where TB rates are among the highest in the world, MSH has coordinated the work of the National TB Program and various partners to improve pharmaceutical management, strengthen control of drug-resistant TB, and expand DOTS. Detection of TB has increased by 20%, and the number of people cured has risen by 12%.

Malawi: In five districts in Malawi, MSH is building the capacity of the national TB and HIV & AIDS programs to integrate and expand services. In the past year, in two focus districts, these efforts have achieved a 50% reduction in TB deaths in hospitals and a 50% increase in testing and treatment for HIV & AIDS among TB patients.

Worldwide: In 2009 MSH launched the TB CAP Laboratory Toolbox for improving TB diagnosis. We developed the toolbox with TB CAP, the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, and the World Health Organization. MSH also published the Management and Organizational Sustainability Tool (MOST) for TB, a resource for national TB programs on planning improvements in management. MOST for TB has been implemented in many countries, including Afghanistan, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Pakistan, Kenya, and Namibia.

Since 2005, as a partner in USAID’s Tuberculosis Control Assistance Program (TB CAP), MSH is leading efforts to strengthen national TB programs in Afghanistan, Ghana, Malawi, and Southern Sudan and providing substantial assistance in nearly a dozen other countries. 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, and integrating HIV & TB diagnosis and treatment. In 2009, MSH became a partner in USAID’s TB Task Order 2015, through which MSH will support the expansion of TB services in India and Tanzania and take a key role in strengthening countries’ ability to respond to multidrug resistance.


For more on MSH’s approach to TB

Fact Sheet: Tuberculosis


TB CAP Laboratory Toolbox

Related Links:

MSH Shares Latest Achievements in Controlling TB at 40th Union Lung Conference in Cancun, Mexico

First Biosafety Level 3 Lab in Malawi Officially Handed over to Ministry of Health