**This news is provided by ACTION's partner, Global Health Advocates France.
On September 15, partners and Ministers of Health met in Vilnius (Lithuania), in the margins of the WHO Regional Committee meetings, to sign the first ever approved TB Regional Grant from the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria in the European region (TB REP). The project, worth over US$ 6 million, will be focusing on health system reforms to bring TB care closer to patients in eleven former Soviet Union countries.
“This important regional initiative is urgently needed to further boost political commitment to a fundamental transformation of health system delivery and financing at national level, capitalizing on the current best practices and a visible appetite for reform,” said Viorel Soltan, Director of PAS Center, the principal recipient of the grant. “The critical transformation will lead to innovative models of care centered on the people of the region.”
TB REP will be implemented by a multi-stakeholder consortium, as part of which the TB Europe Coalition will coordinate the regional advocacy strategy on transition and health system reforms, relayed in turn by national civil society partners in the eleven chosen countries. “Raising the awareness of decision-makers and mobilising communities are essential tools in changing the attitudes of health workers, governments and the general public towards hospital-based models of care” says Fanny Voitzwinkler, Coordinator of the TB Europe Coalition.
The signing of TB-REP represents significant progress in the fight against TB. Yet, in the light of decreasing international financial support for a region now mostly made up of Middle Incomes Countries (MICs), the project is only a first step in the fight against a disease which continues to kill a staggering 4 people every hour in the European region.
Note for the editors:
- The TB rep project is officially called “TB in Eastern Europe and Central Asia Project on Strengthening Health Systems for Effective TB and Drug Resistant (DR)-TB Care (TB-REP)”
- The project will be focusing on eleven countries (1) and implemented for a 3-year period, starting on 1st January 2016, by the Moldovan NGO “Centre for Health Policies and Studies” in collaboration with the WHO Regional Office for Europe, the TB Europe Coalition and other partners such as the European Respiratory Society.
- A key objective of the TB REP grant will be to advocate for the rationalisation of spending and embracing ambulatory models of care, thereby saving funds to be re-channelled into more efficient and effective domestic TB investments
- The expected outcomes of TB-REP include a halving of the hospitalization rate and average length of stay (ALOS) for new TB cases by 2018 compared to 2013 levels, alongside a fall from 86% to 50% in the DR-TB hospitalization rate and a decrease from 150 to 90 days in its ALOS over the same period.
(1) Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan
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