MSF South Asia TB Day 2024: Experts convene to address Tuberculosis challenges in South Asia

Published On: February 29, 2024 10:02 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Feb 29: Health experts have stressed on collaborative effort and innovative strategies to combat tuberculosis (TB) at the regional level. They made such remarks during the third edition of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) South Asia TB Day held in Kathmandu on Thursday, February 29. 

The day-long event brought together over 80 medical experts and academics from South Asia to delve into the pressing issues surrounding tuberculosis (TB) research and healthcare. Organized in collaboration with Nepal’s National Tuberculosis Control Centre (NTCC), the event provided a crucial platform for knowledge exchange and reflection on challenges and breakthroughs in TB treatment and management.

The event emphasized the importance of increased funding, addressing TB management in complex settings, and the latest vaccine trials for comprehensive and effective TB control. Attendees engaged in discussions that explored future-focused approaches to TB care delivery, the integration of new technologies, and community-based strategies for prevention and treatment. 

Distinguished speakers, including Dr Prajowl Shrestha (NTCC, Nepal), Dr Banu Rekha (ICMR), Rajesh Kumar Yadav (Save the Children, Nepal), and others, shared insights on various aspects of TB care and research. Keynote speakers, Dr Anurag Bhargava and Dr Madhavi Bhargava from Yenepoya Medical College in Mangalore, India, discussed the innovative approach of nutritional supplementation to prevent TB incidence in household of TB patients.

The event underscored the importance of collaboration and inclusivity in the fight against TB, aiming to amplify patient and community perspectives to ensure that nobody is left behind. Dr Shayla Islam, associate director for Communicable Disease at BRAC Health Programme in Bangladesh, highlighted the organization's community-based approach to TB care. 

“Tuberculosis remains a major public health problem in Bangladesh. BRAC, a community-based organization, addresses this issue by involving local communities as health workers/volunteers. They conduct active case finding through door-to-door mobilization, offer health education and information about patient's rights to reduce stigma, provide preventive and curative treatment with follow-up. Additionally, BRAC supports poor TB patients with investigation, transport, and nutritional assistance for better treatment adherence. To enhance community engagement, the establishment of a community-led monitoring system is crucial,” Islam said.

TB Day 2024 served as a platform for forging partnerships, sharing innovations, and fostering dialogue on TB-related challenges. Through collaborative efforts and innovative strategies, stakeholders are working tirelessly to address TB-related challenges and improve outcomes for affected communities. 

TB Day 2024 provided a platform for experts and practitioners to come together, share insights, and collaborate on tackling the challenges of tuberculosis. By fostering dialogue, forging partnerships, and sharing innovative strategies, the event aimed to mobilize support and action toward ending the global TB epidemic. Through these collaborative efforts and innovative strategies, stakeholders are working to address TB-related challenges and improve outcomes for affected communities. 


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