In collaboration with The WHO Global TB Program, the Stop TB Partnership, and World Health Organization SEARO KIT has developed an analytical approach that makes the most of available subnational tuberculosis program data to find the missing cases of TB.
A joint initiative
In the summer of 2016, the Stop TB Partnership and The Global Fund announced a joint initiative to strengthen the use of subnational data for decision-making in TB programs. This initiative comes as a response to the global health emergency that approximately one-third of the estimated 10.4 million incident TB cases go unreached every year, either not being reported, not receiving treatment or not even being properly diagnosed. The rationale for the initiative is to take advantage of the considerable amount of existing, yet uncollated subnational data which more specifically tells the story of who and how many of these missing TB cases there are, where they are located, why they are missed, and how to find and treat them. It was subsequently decided to launch a workshop dedicated to this initiative for ten Asian national TB programs (NTPs), the successes and lessons from which could be useful in developing further workshops for TB programs in other geographic regions. The Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) has undertaken a landscape assessment to get a better understanding of key features of the concerned countries’ TB program infrastructure and available data.
Building on this landscape assessment, KIT is collaborating with The WHO Global TB Program to collect subnational TB notification, laboratory, treatment outcome data, as well as other health system indicators to help NTPs better visualize and interpret subnational variations in their TB epidemic. It is expected that at the end of the workshops, NTP staff will be better informed to differentiate their programs on a subnational level, to launch a better, more specific attack against the TB epidemics in their countries.