Conducting surveys on the cost of tuberculosis to patients and their families in West and Central Africa

From 26 to 30 November 2018, a workshop was held in Cotonou to develop protocols for conducting surveys on the catastrophic costs of TB in West and Central Africa. This workshop was attended by National TB Programmes from 27 African countries.

The END-TB tuberculosis strategy sets three ambitious goals to end the global tuberculosis epidemic by 2035: reduce the incidence of tuberculosis by 80%, reduce mortality by 90%, and ensure the elimination of catastrophic costs for tuberculosis patients and their households. In order to help West and Central African countries achieve this 3rd objective, the West African Regional TB Network (WARN-TB) and Central African Regional TB Network (CARN-TB) has set itself the objective of providing a framework for the development of protocols that can be used to conduct the “Survey of Tuberculosis Costs for Patients and Their Families” in each country.

Organized at INFOSEC in Cotonou, this workshop aimed to assist representatives of participating countries in developing the protocol to help conduct the survey in their respective countries, in accordance with the WHO methodology. Indeed, the inclusion of the indicator on catastrophic costs is new, reflecting the importance of alleviating the heavy financial and economic burden of tuberculosis care as a key element of the global strategy. At the beginning of this WHO/TDR-supported workshop, it was clearly stated that the survey results will be used to overcome barriers to financial access and support possible changes in associated health and social policies to improve tuberculosis prevention and management.

This situation analysis is necessary to guide health policies and define the operational research/implementation research priorities needed to improve access to care.

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