The Desmond Tutu TB Centre has its main offices on the Tygerberg Campus at Stellenbosch University and satellite offices in communities affected by TB. Its mission is to improve the health of vulnerable groups, with a special emphasis on children and families. The centre achieves this goal by influencing health policy, particularly on TB and HIV, via the results of its research. The centre works closely with the South African Department of Health and local communities.
The centre, together with Stellenbosch University’s Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, focuses on the problems and issues associated with childhood TB. It has established a number of outreach projects in areas where research is conducted; operating on the principle that research should be integrated with the services delivered by the Department of Health. It also established and runs the world’s first international childhood TB training programme.
The scientific body of work on childhood TB produced by the centre’s researchers includes more than 300 articles on the epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of childhood TB. This work has engendered ten international policy documents on childhood TB, creating a robust evidence base for addressing childhood TB.