Contributing to the Elimination of Tuberculosis in Africa (CETA)
The CETA project aims to contribute to the elimination of tuberculosis in Africa by 2035.
Launched in October 2019, the project supports national tuberculosis programmes (NTPs) in eight countries with TB screening and prevention, improving healthcare delivery and strengthening the governance of these NTPs.
The project builds on The Union’s many years of work supporting TB efforts in the eight countries covered: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Guinea, Central African Republic, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
The CETA project works to create a network of African experts who support each other and have ongoing access to the expertise of The Union, through workshops, courses, conference and online resources to continue to improve the care offered to people with or at risk of TB.
This project is funded by the Agence Française de Développement.
Screening and prevention
The first approach aims to improve TB screening and prevention with a particular focus on improving access to care for vulnerable populations, such as people living with HIV and children under five years. Using contact investigation to help with the early detection of active TB, allowing those diagnosed to be treated quickly, and anyone in close contact to be given preventive therapy to stop the spread of the disease.
The kick-off meeting took place virtually on 30 July 2020, with the eight NTP managers and several partners (including Alliance Côte d'Ivoire, DRAF TB, Global Fund, WHO Global TB Programme, WHO TDR). From the meeting to June 2021, the following activities began:
- 150 Basic Management Units (BMUs) identified across the eight countries
- 415 nurses and community health workers were trained to work in the BMUs
- 1,211 home visits were carried out which resulted in 1,806 children under 5 years and 56 people living with HIV being placed on TB preventive treatment (TPT)
Improving healthcare delivery
The second supports NTPs to improve healthcare delivery by improving case management of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), and better integrating TB into the country’s national health system, in order to reduce missed opportunities for TB diagnosis during unrelated health checks.
The Union is working with Savics to implement the electronic management of MDR TB patient data (DataToCare) in the countries. DataToCare connects national laboratory networks by collecting diagnostic and patient data at the facility level, displaying real-time information on a dashboard to facilitate decision-making at the central level, and notifying test results to medical teams and patients. From July 2020 to June 2021, this has activity included:
- The configuration of GeneXpert machines in Togo and the Central African Republic
- 23 participants were trained on the use of DataToCare virtually in Niger
- The Union’s ABC approach for smoking/tobacco cessation in people with TB is in the process of being implemented in Benin and Burkina Faso
- TBData4Action will be integrated into Cameroun, Guinea and Togo with the support of the NTPs
Strengthening NTP governance
The third approach strengthens the governance of the NTPs, by improving their capacity building skills and supporting them to manage financing from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The CETA project has supported the translation of several articles and the WHO people-centred framework user guide into French.
- Participants were supported to attend an online international Course on TB control (Cotonou Course): Due to COVID-19, an online course was developed, combining pre-recorded sessions that participants attended independently (five hours per week) with live sessions once a week. 47 participants attended and were divided into three cohorts.
- Five fellowships were given to laboratories staff of NTPs in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Senegal and Togo to attend virtual training, organised by Institut Pasteur, to acquire up to date knowledge of tuberculosis and the practice of molecular methods for diagnosis, drug susceptibility testing and epidemiology
The Union provides ongoing monitoring of the project, including regular exchanges with national programme managers. This includes supporting these NTPs to expand the use of these activities in their future grants to the Global Fund.
Other Francophone Africa projects
In addition to CETA activities, The Union is also supports the following operational research projects in Francophone Africa:
- Community-based directly observed treatment: Financial and technical support to the DOTCOM project in Togo and to DRAF TB in Côte d'Ivoire, Niger, Cameroon and Chad
- All-oral regimen for MDR TB patients: In collaboration with WHO TDR, The Union provides technical and financial support for the implementation of the ShORRT protocol in Togo, Burkina Faso and Central African Republic. The protocol is finalised and the three countries have signed funding agreements with The Union and the WHO TDR.
The Union also supports the West and Central African Regional Networks for Tuberculosis Control secretariat.