Innovators in TB case-finding from 23 countries meet in Tbilisi

02 June 2014 - Tbilisi / Geneva - The TB REACH initiative of the Stop TB Partnership is bringing together over 60 innovators from 23 countries in a workshop in Tbilisi. The objective of the workshop is to share experiences between projects and develop monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plans for the 33 new TB REACH projects that have been approved recently under the fourth wave of funding.

The meeting was inaugurated by Sandra E. Roelofs, former First Lady of Georgia and the Global Fund Board member for Eastern Europe and Central Asia constituency representing 22 countries. In her inaugural remarks, she applauded the winners of the TB REACH grants for choosing those health interventions in the fight against TB, which are evidence-based and cost-effective and above all innovative. "TB is indeed a multiple front battle and we as innovators and highly motivated world citizens, we are ready to continue the fight and pick up our pace," she added.

TB REACH supports innovative projects that seek to improve TB case finding in underserved and vulnerable population groups. TB REACH is funded by the Government of Canada and has co-funded Xpert test equipment from UNITAID.

Nathalie Garon of Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Government of Canada also congratulated the winners of the grants under Wave 4 of TB REACH. She said that TB REACH is a victim of its own success as it is attracting more applications as demonstrated by the large numbers of applications to Wave 4 call for proposals. She also said that TB REACH is becoming a model for other projects being funded by the Government of Canada.

Earlier this year, the Stop TB Partnership’s Coordinating Board approved US $13.9 million in new funding for partners implementing TB REACH projects. The new funding will support a fourth wave of 33 new projects in 24 countries that seek to innovate and find the missing TB patients among some of the most underserved settings with poor and vulnerable population groups. The projects were selected on a competitive basis from more than 500 letters of interest.

Among the projects approved are 11 that will be implemented by small community-based organizations. The approved projects have a number of new approaches focusing on mining-affected communities, children, migrants and incarcerated people.