Tuberculosis and MDR-TB

Since 1920, The Union has been a global leader in the fight against tuberculosis (TB).  From policies for BCG vaccine in the 30s and clinical trials of TB chemotherapy in 50s to the development of DOTS in 80s and the innovative case-finding of FIDELIS in this century, The Union has developed and disseminated the best approaches to TB treatment and control. 

Union projects

In addition to the following specific projects, The Union has had supportive and collaborative relationships with national tuberculosis programmes in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East since their inception more than 30 years ago.

Understand the issues and share the latest information with our factsheets on tuberculosischild tuberculosis, or the need to advance prevention of TB.

Childhood Tuberculosis

The Child and Adolescent TB Centre of Excellence

The Union’s Child and Adolescent Tuberculosis (TB) Centre of Excellence is a virtual network of tuberculosis professionals and organisations in the Africa region, providing a community of learning and practice for childhood and adolescent TB. This network, coordinated by The Union’s Uganda Office in collaboration with the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers technical leadership, capacity building and funding opportunities, and promotes collaboration across the region. Read more about the Centre of Excellence.

Child TB Learning Portal

The Union launched a Childhood TB Learning Portal in March 2015. The Learning Portal is designed to offer a variety of resources aimed at supporting countries’ efforts to address the 10-step plan outlined in The Roadmap for Childhood TB, published in 2013.  The urgent need for training and reference materials on childhood TB for health workers is stressed in this plan. The interactive online course, Childhood TB for Healthcare Workers,  is the first major offering of the Learning Portal.

Project Axshya

The Union’s Project Axshya, working in partnership with seven sub-recipient partners, a network of local non-governmental organisations and over 15,000 community volunteers, provides innovative TB interventions designed to serve traditionally hard-to-reach and at-risk populations in India. Working in tandem with the Revised National TB Control Programme, Project Axshya, meaning TB free, has been able to reach key affected populations, enhance community ownership and create demand for quality services for TB control amongst communities who have the greatest difficulty in accessing TB diagnosis and treatment. Read more.

Taking action to prevent a TB–diabetes epidemic

The number of people with diabetes mellitus reached 387 million in 2014, creating a major challenge for health systems around the world, but especially in limited-resource settings.  It also represents a potential challenge for TB control, since this enormous population has a three times greater risk of developing active TB – and also responds less well to treatment.  The Union and WHO developed the Collaborative Framework for Care and Control of Tuberculosis and Diabetes (2011) to provide guidelines for a coordinated response to this public health challenge.

In China and India, two countries with high burdens of both diseases, The Union and its partners have conducted bi-directional screening in public health clinics to identify TB patients with diabetes and vice versa. The results of these pilot projects, funded by the World Diabetes Foundation, led to health officials in India to promote TB-diabetes screening nationwide. Read more.

In 2014, The Union and the World Diabetes Foundation published The Looming Co-epidemic of TB–Diabetes: A Call to Action.

TREAT TB Initiative provided fresh perspectives and solutions

The TREAT TB Initiative completed its first five years in September 2013 and received an additional US $8.3 million to continue the STREAM trial in October 2013.  Administered by a North America-based team working with partners around the world, TREAT TB has been funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Recent achievements include:

  • The STREAM clinical trial is currently testing a 9-month MDR-TB treatment regimen modeled on one used in a non-randomised observational study in Bangladesh that demonstrated an 87% cure rate. Protocols for two additiona regimens are going through the approval process. They will be an all-oral 9-month regimen and 6-month regimen. Read more about STREAM.
  • The Operational Research Assistance Project (ORAP) developed with Desmond Tutu TB Centre (DTTC) in South Africa is training new researchers to use OR to identify local solutions to local problems and disseminate their results through publication.
  • Partners in the Diagnostic Tools Initiative have created a computer model that virtually predicts the performance, resource requirements and costs associated with using new TB diagnostic tools in real-world settings.
  • The PROVE-IT study analysed patient records and conducted interviews with patients and health care providers to help determine the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of new TB diagnostic tools.

Read more or download the report: TREAT TB: Description of Research Outputs

Tuberculosis and MDR-TB News

Tuberculosis and MDR-TB Publications