Workshop to scale up the implementation of collaborative TB/HIV activities in Africa (10-11 April, 2013. Maputo, Mozambique)
Over 130 TB, HIV, and monitoring and evaluation focal points came together to review progress on (1) ART uptake for HIV infected tuberculosis patients, (2) the three I’s for TB/HIV and (3) monitoring and evaluation of TB/HIV activities in 14 African countries. These countries accounted for 70% of the TB/HIV burden worldwide in 2011. The participants represented TB and HIV from WHO AFRO region, civil society groups, the TBHIV working group, PEPFAR and the Global Fund, STOP TB and HIV departments in Geneva and WHO, ministry of health, CDC and US government in Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Swaziland, Uganda, UR Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The meeting was opened by calling for the “end of tuberculosis during our generation”, for national governments to address the need for TB/HIV program co-ordination, and for all components of society to engage in prevention, access and adherence to treatment, stigma and discrimination for the elimination of TB/HIV to become a reality. The dedication of and need to support health professionals who are themselves at risk of TB and HIV in the course of their work was emphasised.
The workshop served as an important forum to share new data, best practices and debate key programmatic and operational issues. Important conclusions were that:
- TB/HIV programs need to go beyond collaboration and strive for better integration of services and programmes at all levels
- There is an urgent need for programs to increase rates of timely ART initiation for persons diagnosed with TB who are co-infected with HIV
- Adoption of key policies and advocacy for their implementation (e.g. scale up of IPT) are essential to the success of national TB/HIV efforts
- Better TB/HIV data are needed (particularly on mortality and disease burden) together with simplified and streamlined strategies to collect, analyze and act upon reports
- At the global level, more effort is needed to harmonize and simplify reporting requirements
- Engagement of all stakeholders (civil society, researchers, donors and policymakers) is critical to the successful control of TB/HIV
- Countries were encouraged to be more ambitious with their Global Fund applications to help to meet the funding gap