Launch of the Capacity Building Training Modules for Affected Community for Accelerated Response to DR-TB in South-East Asia Region at the Regional Meeting of NTP Managers and Partners 13th -15th May, 2019

The Capacity building modules were developed by WHO-SERO and GCTA with support from IFRC and Stop TB Partnership. The modules went through extensive peer review by technical partners, affected community members and NTPs. We are thankful to WHO-SEARO for the initiative.
In her message Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO-SERO said, “Community engagement must be a core priority for all countries, weather low-or-high prevalence. Rather than passively implementing policies that come from above, affected communities should be part of the policy development process, with community recommendations reflected in public health policies.”
Launching the modules Prof. Dr Tjandra Yoga Aditama, Ag Director, Department of Communicable Diseases, WHO-SEARO said, “Community engagement is relevant more than ever as the countries embark on their efforts towards ending TB. Affected communities and civil society members’ participation as an active partner is vital in design and delivery of people-centred services. The modules are a key tool in building capacity of the community members for their engagement with the programme”
The WHO South-East Asia (SEA) region provides for a fertile and relevant backdrop to this endeavour due to the disproportionately high TB burden in the area. In 2017, an estimated 4.4million people fell ill with TB in the SEA Region, representing 44% of the total TB incidence globally. Additionally, in the same year, the Region accounted for more than 30% of the global estimated MDR/RR-TB cases among notified pulmonary TB cases worldwide.
“There are still many gaps that we must immediately overcome to ensure DR-TB patients get their rights in enrolling for the treatment process with a supportive environment. Community engagement is very important for a supportive environment that can be created for patients. But the challenge is about the capacity of community organizations and affected people. This module could be used to fill the capacity gap of these groups”- Esty Febriani, Community Representative and WHO CSTF member Indonesia.
“We can’t end TB without engaging communities affected by the disease. As we support capacity building for health personnel, we should build the awareness and skill of communities and affected people. The training module is a very good tool to provide interactive and evidence-based lesson on accelerating the fight against drug-resistant TB. Communities affected by DR-TB are the best counsellors and supporters to people receiving treatment and ensure successful treatment and care. “ – Dr Mohammed Yassin, Senior Advisor – Tuberculosis, Global Fund.
“Congratulations to GCTA and all partners who worked together to develop these modules, built on the experiences of those affected by MDR-TB. A core principle of action to End TB is to ensure meaningful engagement of people affected. Capacity-building is central to that engagement, to enable truly people-centred care and prevention, and to eliminate stigma, discrimination and other devastating social impacts of the disease” – Diana E.C. Weil, Coordinator, Policy, Strategy and Innovations Unit, Global TB Programme, WHO.
“We keep speaking about communities to be partners in the efforts to end TB. But this is not happening overnight through some sort of miracle. Without building their capacity, without adequate level of investments, without really putting the pen on paper and making concrete and funded plans for this, we will just keep speaking about it. This is why having this tool is so good, as a great step forward in this process.” – said Dr. Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director, Stop TB Partnership from Geneva.
“At Stop TB, we are excited that the development of this capacity building tool was led by the civil society themselves. Community-led response to tuberculosis can now be a reality in South-East Asia, which bears almost half of the global burden of TB.” – Suvanand Sahu, Deputy Executive Director, Stop TB Partnership.
“While it is now well accepted that community engagement needs to be an integral part of the TB response, the crucial need for building the capacity of the affected community needs to be high on the agenda. GCTA is proud to partner with WHO, STB and IFRC in developing these modules. We hope that these modules will be effective tools to remove the barriers and empower the affected community to be a strong valuable partner in achieving our goal of Ending TB.” – Blessina Kumar, CEO, GCTA.
The next steps in this is to use these modules globally to build the capacity of the communities.

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