During the fight to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, many essential health services and operations have been negatively impacted. For example, progress in reducing TB-related morbidity and mortality has been significantly hindered because vital prevention and control mechanisms have been disrupted. Consequently, TB case detection and reporting decreased substantially, and many global TB elimination targets are currently off track. There is an urgent need to reinvigorate national TB programmes (NTBPs), especially in Africa, which accounts for approximately 25% of the global TB burden. The project builds on the achievements of the first funding phase, in which the RKI collaborated with the TDR, the Global TB Programme at WHO, WARN-TB and CARN-TB to strengthen the surveillance capacity of NTBPs and to monitor and mitigate disruptions during COVID-19 and future health emergencies. In this project, the geographical reach of the activities will be expanded to Southern and East Africa. The aim is to establish a regional network bringing together the 19 NTPs in Southern and East Africa to strengthen TB surveillance and response. Through close collaboration with NTBP coordinators, focal points and monitoring and evaluation staff in 19 target countries, capacities will be built to ensure continued service delivery throughout public health emergencies.
Strengthening cooperation and enhancing the capacity of national TB surveillance programmes in Southern and East Africa to ensure sustainable TB control and care.
Training and competence development
Strengthening communication and cooperation between NTPs through TB surveillance training, peer support and exchange of best practices, with the aim of harmonising surveillance and control strategies.
Networking and cooperation
Establishing a network bringing together NTPs in Southern and East Africa as a platform for strengthening cross-border TB surveillance and control and preparing for future outbreaks; raising awareness about the platform established to minimise interruptions in the event of public health emergencies, such as COVID-19.