The Union’s TBData4Action method is designated a ‘best practice’ in Kenya

A Union method has been designated a ‘best practice to improve data for decision-making in the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis’ in the most recent National Strategic Plan (2019-2023) from the Kenya National Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Lung Disease Programme (NTLD-P). The method ‘TBData4Action’ trains local level tuberculosis (TB) officers to analyse data and then design strategies to confront specific challenges faced by their communities.

A prevalence survey in 2016 showed that the burden of TB in Kenya was higher than estimated. The survey findings suggested that more than 138,000 people were falling ill with the disease every year. However, only 82,000 received a diagnosis in 2015, showing that up to 40 percent of people with TB in Kenya may be going undetected and untreated. 

After the worrying results of the prevalence survey, officials from Kenya’s NTLD-P identified the need for high-quality training to help TB coordinators to find the country’s missing TB cases. Specifically, they wanted to make better use of routine TB data in order to: identify priority areas, develop effective interventions and set achievable targets at facility and sub-county level.

TBData4Action aims to fill that gap by empowering local level TB officers to collect, tabulate and analyse routinely available TB data, rather than simply submitting quarterly case finding and treatment outcome reports to national programmes. This approach has seen promising initial results in Zimbabwe, with 63 percent increase in the detection of presumptive TB, 87 percent increase in new smear-positive TB results, and reduced deaths.

Dr Riitta Dlodlo, Senior Advisor to The Union, said: “Since May 2017 when The Union started to deliver TBData4Action training in Kenya, 302 TB coordinators from 37 counties have benefitted from this bespoke programme. 

“They have returned to work with targeted action plans specific to their individual areas and at-risk populations. Data-driven support supervision tools have been made available to all coordinators to use in their work. Data-related agenda points have also been added to quarterly review meetings.

“I am proud that The Union has been able to accomplish so much both for and with Kenya’s TB community.”

This training consists of classroom sessions with a focus on TB care and prevention, and field practicals. Based from the selected health facilities, field practicals give trainees the opportunity to validate data from the electronic surveillance system, perform data-analysis with facility staff, and to then develop a visit report based on their observations and the validated TB data. County and sub-county TB coordinators also bring their own TB data to the training. They then tabulate and analyse the data and then prepare and present their action plans to the audience, which consists of fellow participants, faculty and the host county team. Final action plans include set targets for each key indicator.

The most recent TBData4Action training session – Kenya’s 10th such session to date – took place at the Voyager Beach Resort in Mombasa from 30 June to 6 July 2019. It targeted the national level staff of the NTLD-P.

Thirty-three programme officers from the national level of the NTLD-P were joined by two programme officers from African Medical and Research Foundation Health Africa, as well as, three international observers from the East, Central and Southern African Health Community, and the National TB Programmes from Malawi and Zambia, who are considering bringing TBData4Action training to their countries.

The Union’s TBData4Action training course is currently being delivered in Kenya by The Union, working in partnership with Ministry of Health NTLD-P and the Centre for Health Solutions Kenya. USAID Kenya is funding the delivery as part of the Tuberculosis Accelerated Response and Care II programme.

Find out more about TBData4Action and other Union training courses at Union Courses.