IMPACT TB 18-month Review MeetingPosted on: June 14, 2018
We are at the half way point of our IMPACT-TB grant and the time has flown by. We all got together on 6th and 7th June 2018, to hold our 18-month progress and planning meeting in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The objectives of this meeting were to review the progress of IMPACT TB to date, share experiences between the Vietnamese and Nepalese project sites and to discuss plans for data analysis and project outputs.
Delegates from all IMPACT TB partner institutions/organisations attended the meeting, namely the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) from the UK, Friends for International Tuberculosis Relief (FIT) from Vietnam, Birat Nepal Medical Trust (BNMT) from Nepal, Karolinska Institutet (KI) from Sweden and Koninklijke Nederlandse Chemische Vereniging (KNCV) from the Netherlands. IMPACT TB were also honoured to welcome senior delegates from the National TB Programme in Vietnam and the National TB Centre in Nepal (nepalntp.gov.np), who are working in partnership with us on all aspects of the project.
The first morning of the meeting included introductory remarks and a welcome from Professor Le van Hoi of the National TB Programme in Vietnam and a presentation from Dr Nguyen Binh Hoa on the national strategic plan towards ending TB and placed IMPACT TB in context with other innovative ACF projects in Vietnam, including ACT and Zero TB. Mr Anil Thapa from the NTC in Nepal then gave us a contextual overview of TB in Nepal and the Nepali strategic 5-year plan for achieving the END-TB strategy, including the goal to detect an additional 20,000 TB cases by 2020. Ms Rachel Forse and Mr Raghu Dhital, IMPACT-TB programme managers in Vietnam and Nepal, respectively, then gave us an update on the achievements and challenges faced in implementation to date. We also heard a presentation from Dr Ly Hong An, the head of district 12 TB Unit on the situation and implementation of IMPACT in his district. Mr Bhola Rai, Ms Kritika Dixit and Ms My Linh presented experience conducting the health economic costing survey and adapting the WHO tool for use in both countries. Later, the team from the Karolinska Institute gave us an update on social protection for TB and the SPARKS network, presented by Professor Knut Lonnroth, and policy dialogue plans, presented by Kerri Vinney and Olivia Biermann. Finally, Mr Luan Vo, CEO of FIT, arrived back from New York to give us a report from the landmark Interactive Civil Society Hearing on Tuberculosis in preparation of the High-Level Meeting on the Fight Against Tuberculosis.
On day 2 of the meeting a smaller group of key investigators met to discuss the plans for data management, data analysis and mathematical modelling, as well as ensuring we are well placed to meet our project milestones and deliverables for the second half. In the afternoon, we discussed pilot data on private sector engagement for tuberculosis case finding in Ho Chi Minh City and how this can be scaled up and inform similar approaches in Nepal. We finished the day with a lively breakout group discussion on future research ideas and innovations. The meeting was a rare opportunity to bring IMPACT team members together across all our diverse disciplines and stimulated many interesting reflections, questions and ideas.