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Dear Partners,

We are pleased to inform you of the upcoming Joint Partners Forum for strengthening and aligning TB diagnosis and treatment, which will bring together the many GDI and GLI partners. The Forum will be convened at the World Health Organization Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland from the 27th to 30th April 2015.

The overall goal of the Joint Partners Forum is to bring together representatives from country TB control programmes, international institutions and initiatives, non-governmental organizations, academic and research institutes from developed and developing countries, civil society, the TB Supranational Reference Laboratory network, industry representatives and funding agencies, working in partnership to address the challenges of increasing access to early diagnosis and treatment of all persons with TB, including drug-resistant TB and TB/HIV.

Meeting Objectives

  • Provide an overview of the WHO End TB strategy to end the global TB epidemic post-2015;
  • Present priorities and achievements of the Global Laboratory Initiative and Global Drug-resistant TB Initiative;
  • Disseminate developments in WHO policy guidance on TB diagnostics and new drugs, and provide updates on the TB diagnostics pipeline and clinical trials for new drugs and regimens;
  • Share lessons learned and challenges for wide-scale implementation of Xpert MTB/RIF and other rapid diagnostic tests to ensure effective use of resources and identify synergies with TB/HIV integrated activities;
  • Evaluate the status of the SRL network and its activities;
  • Share best practices for the alignment of diagnosis and treatment for the programmatic management of drug-resistant TB (PMDT); and
  • Present progress of regional initiatives for scale-up of laboratory strengthening and PMDT.

The Joint Partners Forum is an open meeting, though pre-registration is essential. Please register your interest of participation via email to Ms. Lynne Harrop (HarropL@who.int) using the attached registration form no later than 11 April.

Looking forward to seeing you in Geneva.

Best regards,

WHO Global TB Programme, Laboratories, Diagnostics & Drug Resistance Unit

On behalf of the GDI and GLI secretariat

The second Core Group (CG) meeting of the Global Drug-resistant TB Initiative (GDI) was held on 27 October 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. All members of the CG, except for the SEA rGLC chair, attended the meeting, along with observers from the Global Laboratory Initiative (GLI), Global TB Drugs Facility (GDF), Global Fund (GF), Infection Prevention and Control (IC) sub-group and the USAID. The objectives of the meeting were:

  • To follow up on recommendations and action points agreed upon during 1st GDI CG meeting and subsequent monthly teleconferences
  • To provide an update on progress in global scale up of MDR-TB services and care
  • To provide an update on the progress of the respective GDI Task Forces, and the request of the Infection Control (IC) sub-group
  • To strengthen communication within GDI, and between the GDI and partners including the GF
  • To discuss the GDI "Business Plan" and the work plan for 2014-15.

The participants were briefed about the activities of the GDI Secretariat since the first CG meeting in May 2014, as well as the progress made by the three taskforces formed after the first CG meeting.

A joint session of the GDI and GLI CGs discussed the ways forward to narrow the gap between the diagnosis and enrolment of MDR-TB cases globally. Further discussions will be held to finalise a number of joint GDI and GLI activities for 2015. The joint session was also addressed by Dr Mario Raviglione, Director GTB/WHO

The GDI CG members unanimously agreed to the movement of the IC sub-group under the GDI "umbrella".

Initial discussions on the contents of the GDI "Business Plan" were held. The CG members agreed that scope of the plan should be global in nature, and that the plan should build on the earlier transition framework developed in 2011. A tentative plan was made for a meeting of a small group of CG members early next year to draft the GDI document, which will include budget estimates for the global scale-up of MDR-TB services and care.

All meeting documents can be found at the ‘Meetings’ tab.

The first Core Group (CG) meeting of the Global Drug-resistant TB Initiative (GDI) was held on 1-2 May in Geneva chaired by Dr Charles Daley. All 16 members of the CG attended the meeting, along with observers from the Global Laboratory Initiative (GLI) and the Global TB Drugs Facility (GDF). On the first day of the meeting, the members were briefed on the how the GDI came to be established and its proposed role, on global progress in scale-up of MDR-TB services, key areas of work for the Stop TB Partnership in 2014 including those of the GDF, and the progress in implementation of regional plans in response to MDR-TB in each of the WHO Regions, and in particular the work of the respective 6 regional Green Light Committees (rGLCs). The second day of the meeting was devoted to the development of strategic priorities and activities of the GDI.

The following areas were actively discussed by the CG members:

  1. Need to improve capacity to treat MDR-TB patients ensuring alignment with the expansion of diagnostics, especially the rapid molecular tests.
  2. Low global treatment success rate (48%) amongst MDR-TB patients and specifically the high rates of "lost to follow-up" and "not evaluated", which significantly contribute to the overall low treatment success rates.
  3. Advocacy for MDR-TB needs to be strengthened for increasing the resources available for the required scale up of services.
  4. Need for rapid scale-up of second line drug susceptibility testing capacity in order to detect and correctly treat the XDR-TB cases.
  5. Need for agreed MDR-TB disease burden indicators and their appropriate use.
  6. Strengthening supply chain systems and access to quality assured second-line drugs through GDF support.
  7. Need for coordination of technical assistance being provided through the various funding agencies and technical partners.
  8. The essential need for the involvement of the private sector in programmatic management of DR-TB (PMDT) activities, however as yet this has not received the required attention that it deserves.

Based on the discussions, the following strategic priorities and activities were agreed by the CG members:

  1. Develop targeted advocacy strategies and resource mobilization for DR-TB management scale-up.
  2. Facilitate integration and coordination of efforts to align diagnostic services for patients with access to high-quality care.
  3. Build global consensus on the management of DR-TB for patient centred care delivery ("care for cure").
  4. Promote strategies to facilitate patient access to high-quality DR-TB care, through a long-term, in-country capacity building approach targeting both the public and private sector.
  5. Support prioritization of research to generate evidence for PMDT scale-up.

All Task Forces will be led by an identified GDI partner and progress in its work will be monitored by the Core Group on a regular basis.

Professor Charles Daley, MD, elected as Chair of the Core Group of Global Drug-resistant TB Initiative (GDI)

Professor Charles Daley, MD, was elected as the Chair of Core Group of the Global Drug-resistant TB Initiative (GDI) by the Core Group members. Dr Daley has served till recently as the Chair of the global Green Light Committee (gGLC) and brings with him strong clinical and educational background, field experience, leadership, and the ability to bring people together for global scale up of the programmatic management of drug-resistant TB (PMDT).

Dr Daley has worked with drug resistant tuberculosis patients for 20 years. He developed and implemented a national tuberculosis advice line that helped TB programs across the United States manage complicated forms of tuberculosis, including drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB). He participated in the development of the WHO 2008 Emergency Update of the Guidelines for the Programmatic Management of Drug-resistant Tuberculosis as well as the 2011 updates to the PMDT guidelines. Over the past few years, he has provided monitoring and technical assistance support to several high TB/ MDR-TB burden countries including China, the Philippines, Peru, and Kyrgyzstan. He has facilitated several international PMDT trainings aimed at building capacity for scale-up of PMDT. He has also conducted research in countries such as Tanzania, Uganda, Brazil, and Colombia.

Announcing selection of Core Group of the Global Drug-resistant TB Initiative


Drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB), particularly multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and extensively drug resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) represent significant threats to global TB control efforts and a major public health concern in several countries. Levels of MDR-TB remain worryingly high in some parts of the world, notably countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In several of these countries, up to 32% of new cases and more than 50% of previously treated cases have MDR-TB.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that worldwide 450,000 people developed multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) and at least 170,000 deaths were caused by MDR-TB in 2012. Globally, the overall detection of cases of MDR-TB increased from 29,000 in 2008 to about 94,000 in 2012. However, only around 77,000 eligible patients were actually put on MDR-TB treatment. Despite progress, the number of MDR-TB cases initiated on proper treatment in 2012 represented only 17% of the estimated cases of MDR-TB. Achieving universal access to treatment as envisaged in resolution WHA62.15 requires a bold and concerted drive on many fronts of TB care.

The Global Drug-resistant TB Initiative (GDI) has been recently constituted as a Working Group for drug- resistant TB related issues (DR-TB) replacing the previous MDR-TB Working Group and the global Green Light Committee (gGLC). The main focus of the GDI will be accelerating the global response to DR-TB through a partnership approach with involvement of all key stakeholders.