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USAID TB CARE II Project Responds to National Action Plan for Combating Multidrug-Resistant TB
TB remains a leading cause of death worldwide with nearly one-third of the world’s population at risk of developing the disease. The clinical, economic, and societal burden of TB is devastating.
To address the TB-related crisis domestically and internationally, the U.S. Government (USG) released the National Action Plan for Combating Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB). This five-year plan builds on the USG’s domestic and global TB strategies, as well as the World Health Organization’s End TB Strategy.
The goals of the USG National Action Plan (NAP) are to:
- Strengthen domestic capacity to combat MDR-TB
- Improve international capacity and collaboration to combat MDR-TB
- Accelerate basic and applied research and development to combat MDR-TB
In line with the NAP objectives, the USAID TB CARE II project, implemented by URC and partners, supports innovative and evidence-based interventions in many high-TB burden countries globally. Efforts focus on increasing demand for quality health services for the treatment of TB, scaling up access to TB diagnostics and laboratories, improving the quality of supervision, and alleviating human resource crises by building the capacity of health workers.
TB CARE II project partners with Ministries of Health, national TB control programs, national reference laboratories, academic institutions, the private sector, and community and civil society institutions to ensure that work is locally supported and sustainable. Project approaches support global and national efforts to operationalize the NAP objectives in the 10 highest MDR-TB burden countries with over 63 percent of the Drug Resistant (DR)-TB burden: Burma, China, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, and Ukraine. In 2017, contributions from our efforts towards NAP targets in combating MDR-TB included:
- Support to the National Health Department in South Africa to scale up use of GeneXpert, a rapid and simple-to-use molecular test for TB
- Technical assistance provided to over 16 countries worldwide to expand and strengthen national MDR-TB care and treatment capacity to optimize the use of current and novel regimens
- mHealth tools elaborated to support recording and reporting of MDR-TB treatment adverse events by health care providers
- Launch of the MDR-TB ancillary care package in 2017 in four NAP countries to help TB programs improve MDR-TB patient-centered services, such as nutrition support, transport vouchers, and psychosocial services
- Initial discussions on developing a package covering management of disabilities among DR patients
- Scale-up of an innovative Finding TB Cases Actively, Separating Safely, and Treating Effectively. (FAST) strategy for preventing TB and DR TB transmission in health care settings in South Africa, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Swaziland, among others. Policy-level discussions initiated on introducing a comprehensive package of infection prevention and control interventions including FAST, upper-room ultraviolet germicidals (UVG), and a health care worker TB surveillance program in India.
Our commitment is reflected in the impressive results achieved under not only the TB CARE II Project, but in the many programs worldwide where URC works.
January 25, 2018