SAHTAC attended the TB Indaba at the 11th SA AIDS Conference. The aim of the event was to engage in dialogue with various stakeholders on programme success, achievements and challenges, priority areas for the future and new developments in TB diagnostics, treatment and prevention.
OBJECTIVES OF TB INDABA:
1. Regenerate the TB community through in-person interaction with various stakeholders including Academics, Governmental, Non-governmental and civil society stakeholders.
2. Allowing delegated to understands setbacks and gaps in TB control and management due to the COVID-19 and to discuss the TB recovery plan.
3. Deliberate on key challenges facing the National TB programme, developing the strategy and roadmap to address these challenges.
WELCOMING AND PURPOSE OF THE TB INDABA
Dr Sandile Buthelezi Director-General National Department of Health welcomed all present and highlighted on the purpose of the event. The National Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phahla, gave a keynote address focusing on the key challenges that the National TB program has faced due to outbreak of COVID and what needs to be done to address these challenges. He went further to introduce the National TB Recovery Plan aimed at improving the TB program over the next year (April 2023 – March 2024). Professor Norbert Ndjeka, Chief Director TB Control and Management, National Department of Health concluded the session by highlighting the National TB Program priorities over the next years.
Session 2 was a breakaway session which included the following 5 breakaways sessions:
1. TB in mines and workplace: The session highlighted TB in mines and emphasized on the opportunities for improving TB control/outcome in the workplace.
2. Private sector TB care: This session explored TB care in the private sector and determined how collaboration between the public and private sector can improve TB case findings and treatment.
3. Civil Society Support: To leverage civil society for improving community engagement, communications and accountability for TB control and research with special reference to the social determinants of TB. Majority of SAHTAC members were part of the “Civil Society Support” session and contributed to the deliberations and way forward.
4. Cross border issues in TB: Aimed at developing recommendations to address cross-boarder TB control challenges including political commitment, financial mechanism and adequate health service delivery.
5. TB Innovations: The session helped us to understand the latest advances in TB prevention, diagnostics and treatment.