The Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Child and Adolescent TB Centre of Excellence (COE) is a virtual platform for sharing best practices, discuss common challenges and develop collective solutions in combatting child and adolescent TB.
Launched in 2020, by The Union and with Global TB Branch in the Division of Global HIV and TB, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the COE is pursuing the bold vision of the Childhood TB Roadmap. It aims to achieve this by enabling national leadership, bridging the policy-practice gap, and fostering partnerships across the region to improve and expand interventions to end child and adolescent TB.
The current country members are Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
In June 2022, the COE held a webinar on operationalising the new World Health Organization guidelines on management of TB in children and adolescents. During the webinar, the guidance, algorithms and other implementation considerations were explained. Further discussions were had about the approaches to operationalising the new guidance at primary care levels.
Other webinars that have been conducted by the COE include:
- Best practices for a functioning national child and adolescent TB Technical Working Group
- How to use high-quality child and adolescent TB data to develop and improve TB care cascades for child and adolescent TB and multidrug-resistant TB
- Optimising diagnosis of TB in children: Balancing clinical and laboratory-based methods to close the detection gap
- Scaling up Tuberculosis Preventive Treatment (TPT) among children and adolescents
- The role of chest X-ray TB in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of TB in children and adolescents.
The COE has scheduled a webinar in October titled “Grand Rounds: A Review and Discussion of Challenging Clinical Child and Adolescent TB Cases” aimed at discussing interesting, real-life clinical care of children and adolescents with TB, with a focus of resource-limited settings; and summarising key learning points to strengthen the quality of TB diagnosis and treatment in children and adolescents.
The COE is also currently conducting a workshop series to facilitate the development of a national capacity-building strategy for child and adolescent TB in the member countries. This activity is aimed at reviewing the methodologies and resources to plan, develop, and implement comprehensive capacity building programs to decrease the policy-practice gap in child and adolescent TB. Throughout the series, the COE member countries share south to south experiences on national training strategies for management of child and adolescent TB as well as best practices for adapting and/or developing a national capacity building strategy.