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Next-generation specialists in drug-resistant TB meet in Sydney

1 May 2019
WHO Western Pacific Region leads efforts to strengthen response to drug-resistant TB

A total of 25 experts were equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills, including practical problem-solving, diplomacy and cultural competencies to ensure delivery of high quality support and constructive communication at all levels within the TB programme and government in line with WHO standards.  With MBI's Co-Director Prof Ben Marais as lead facilitator, the March 2019 workshop was co-hosted by the Centre for Research Excellence in TB (TB-CRE) of the Centenary Institute, University of Sydney. 

Following the release of the 2018 WHO consolidated guidelines on the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis, the Western Pacific Regional Office(WPRO) of WHO through its Green Light Committee (GLC) mechanism organised a consultant training workshop held from 27-29 March 2019 in Sydney, Australia. 

The course content covered current technical updates and transition planning including details of the new World Health Organization (WHO) policy changes on multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) treatment, TB preventive treatment, and infection control. The course also had a strong focus on laboratory support systems critical for an effective MDR-TB response including the WHO and FIND technical guide on the use of next-generation sequencing technologies for the detection of mutations associated with drug resistance, and the WHO and GLI detailed guide on the interpretation of line probe assay techniques. In addition, procurement and supply management in the context of transition planning was also discussed. The course paid specific attention on the use of active drug safety monitoring and management, which is now recommended for all patients, monitoring and evaluation of the programmatic management of drug resistant TB, commodities management, MDR-TB treatment in children and management of co-morbidities.

The course can serve as a template for other regions as well and its materials can be useful resources for new consultants in future missions

The course can serve as a template for other regions as well and its materials can be useful resources for new consultants in future missions
Professor Ben Marais, Co-Director MBI