23 September 2022
The Tuberculosis (TB) Platform at the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine held a debriefing meeting with the National Leprosy &Tuberculosis Programme (NLTP) Managers at the NLTP office in Kanifing on 13th September 2022.
Funded by the LSHTM Public Engagement Small Grant Scheme- Continued Development Grant, the meeting was a fulfilment of the deliverables that were outlined during the three-day Public Engagement workshop in which landlords in the Greater Banjul Area were engaged on TB care in the community, TB advocacy, early diagnosis, and treatment initiation in an effort to strengthen the referral system between the community and the Directly Observed Treatment Centres (DOTS).
Dr Olumuyiwa Owolabi, Principal Investigator of the Public Engagement workshop and Lead TB Clinician at the MRCG at LSHTM spoke about the relevance of involving stakeholders in the TB activities of the Unit.
He said “We cannot deal with TB without involving key stakeholders. The outcome of this meeting was significant in that the NLTP managers promised to invest more on TB community outreach as a significant and needful tool in the control of TB because the information shared from the outcome of TB care Gambia workshop was an eye-opener for the NLTP managers which will be part of their next Global Fund Grant proposal call.”
The MRCG at LSHTM’s TB Research Platform has worked with collaborators within and outside The Gambia, including a strong partnership with the Ministry of Health (MoH) through the National Leprosy and Tuberculosis Control Programme. This partnership has been key to many research outputs that have fed into the system to benefit TB control in the country.
Speaking on the meaningful collaboration between the Unit and the NLTP, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer Kebba Sanneh said: “Our relationship with the MRCG at LSHTM is aimed at ensuring a better community and TB care management. This engagement aligns with our strategy. The data from the community engagement will help us to better strategise our outreach programmes and invest more in TB care. We look forward to a continuous and meaningful partnership.”
Wandifa Samateh, Programme Manager at the NLTP said “The MRCG at LSHTM complements the work we do. The research the Unit conducts informs health policies, and this has helped us to better understand and strategise our TB activities. The stigma remains high, and we will continue to work with the MRCG at LSHTM to fight and eradicate TB.”
The MRCG at LSHTM plays a vital role in the fight to eradicate Tuberculosis through awareness-raising programmes , training of healthcare professionals on TB diagnostics and the systematic screening of high-risk and vulnerable populations with presumed TB cases.