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URC Showcases Innovations to Strengthen TB Programs at 41st Union Lung Conference
URC has pioneered the development and promotion of sustainable, community- and facility-level innovations to strengthen tuberculosis (TB) programs in high-burden countries for more than a decade. Through the recently acquired TB CARE II project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), URC is leading a team to provide global leadership and support to TB programs worldwide. URC showcased methods and tools from its TB projects at the 41st Union Lung Conference held November 11–15, 2010, in Berlin, Germany.
Dr. Ntombi Mhlongo, Senior TB/HIV Technical Advisor to the South Africa National Department of Health and formerly Director of the TB Program South Africa, described URC's program to develop and introduce a TB-symptom screening tool at URC-supported sites in South Africa. Since the program introduced the tool in September 2007, the percentage of clients with HIV screened for TB at those sites has increased from 30% to 75%.
The USAID Health Care Improvement Project | Swaziland presented a poster showing how staff at a resource-constrained setting were able to apply quality improvement approaches to measurably improve the quality of care for TB-HIV co-infected patients. URC's Increasing Access to HIV Testing and Counseling, funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, displayed a poster describing URC's work with Swaziland's National Tuberculosis Program to implement home-based HIV testing to increase such testing among the families of TB-HIV co-infected patients.
URC also hosted an off-site breakout session to discuss the integration of occupational safety and health approaches to strengthen infection measures and protect health care workers from TB infections.
URC's conference booth displayed the "Care for Caregivers" and infection prevention and control methodologies while highlighting URC's partnership with the South Africa Department of Health's Kick TB Campaign.