New Regional TB Network Meeting Underway in Addis Ababa

The first meeting of the network of the National TB Program (NTPs) in Southern and Eastern Africa with the aim to strengthen the coordination and harmonization of TB control approach is underway in Addis Ababa.

Opening the 3-day meeting today, Senior Advisor at the ministry of health, Dr. Abera Bekele said on behalf of the State Minister Dr. Dereje Duguma that the meeting aims to cement the establishment of the new regional TB network.

Accordingly, the new network is targeted to strengthen the coordination and harmonization of TB control approaches across southern and Eastern Africa nations.

Stating that this network will help to facilitate greater communication and cooperation of national TB programs in the region, he said it will also help yield opportunities for training and capacity building and encourage peer support and joint learning.

On behalf of the ministry of health, the senior Advisor stressed “I would like to assure you that Ethiopia will support the network and will look forward to a strengthened network that will address critical TB issues in Eastern and southern Africa.”

He called upon academic and research institutions and other organizations such as WHO-AFRO and African CDC among others to join hands in realizing the mission of the network.

WHO Deputy Representative to Ethiopia Dr. Nonhlanhla Rose-Mary Dlamini noted that the network will play an essential role in coordination and harmonization TB control approach with particular focus on promoting the implementation and operational research and the efficient use of research outcomes to strengthen TB control effort in the countries.

Today, she added the national TB program representatives from 22 Southern and Eastern African countries are gathered with the objective to facilitate greater communication and cooperation between NTPs and partners, promote harmonization of strategies and best practices for TB control for member states.

The Armauer Hansen Research Institute (AHRI) Director-General Professor Afework Kassu said for his part that the network will be critically important to address the regional TB issues by enhancing laboratory capacities, building human resources, contributing on issues of common interest among others.

According to the 2022 WHO Global TB report, there were an estimated 10.6 million TB cases and 1.6 million deaths in the world.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency