Programmatic management of latent and drug-resistant TB and OR/IR research gaps

From 11 to 14 March 2019, Cotonou hosted a workshop on programmatic management of latent and drug-resistant tuberculosis. The workshop brought together participants from 44 of the 47 countries in the World Health Organization (WHO) Africa region.

To enable national tuberculosis control programmes in countries in the WHO/AFRO region to have a better understanding of the new recommendations for the management of drug-resistant and latent TB. This is indeed the theme at the heart of this four (04) day workshop in Cotonou.

The participants were asked to identify obstacles to the effective implementation of these guidelines and to draw from the discussions, the fundamental operational and implementation research issues that the countries need to address.

At the opening ceremony, WHO Resident Representative in Benin, Dr Jean-Pierre Baptiste, said that 23% of the world’s population has latent tuberculosis infection (LTI) and more than 600,000 new cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis appear each year worldwide. The WHO AFRO region alone accounts for 90,000 of these cases. In many countries, he continues, the management of drug-resistant tuberculosis has not changed in recent years.

The World Health Organization published new therapeutic recommendations in 2018 that could help to improve this situation.

The participants followed with interest and commitment the theoretical presentations, discussions and group work in order to master these new recommendations. This workshop will contribute to a significant improvement in the programmatic management of latent and drug-resistant tuberculosis in the region.

Dr Jean-Pierre Baptiste reassured the Beninese side of the support provided by his office and others in the region for the improvement of tuberculosis management in Benin, and for the effective implementation of the recommendations that will result from these meetings.

During his intervention at the opening ceremony of this workshop, the Minister of Health, Prof. Benjamin Hounkpatin, noted the relevance of the themes that will be addressed during the workshop. According to him, the Government of Benin has made the fight against tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, malaria and major endemic diseases a major strategic area for improving the health of the population and the country’s development. He then thanked the technical and financial partners who are accompanying Benin and those who supported the organization of the workshop. These include WHO/TDR, WHO/AFRO, WHO/GLOBAL-TB. 

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