4 May 2011 - Geneva - The Stop TB Partnership TB REACH initiative has approved US$ 31 million for 45 projects in 29 countries under its Wave-2 funding. The projects were selected on a competitive basis from over 300 applications following a call for proposals that closed on 28 February 2011.
"The 45 projects together aim to diagnose and treat TB in over 100 000 people -over and above the number of people whose disease would be detected without these innovative projects - saving 50 000 lives and preventing 1 million new infections. They will focus on finding TB in the most vulnerable people, who have limited access to care," said Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership. The successful applicants are located in a diverse group of countries and are a mix of international NGOs, government agencies and academic institutions.
Thirty of the 45 projects include the GeneXpert MTB/RIF - the recently released rapid genetic test for TB - as a part of the proposal, with a total of about 140 of these machines to be procured and used. It is anticipated that these projects will represent an important mechanism for collecting evidence for further scale-up of this technology.
The main objective of TB REACH is to promote early and increased case detection of tuberculosis (TB) cases and ensure their timely treatment, while maintaining high cure rates within the national TB programmes. TB REACH encourages the development and application of ground-breaking and efficient approaches, interventions, and activities that result in increased TB case detection, reduced transmission and prevention of the emergence of drug-resistant forms of TB. As suggested by its name, TB REACH focuses on reaching people who are poor, vulnerable or for other reasons have limited or no access to TB services. The initiative is supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
TB REACH was launched on 25 January 2010. In the first wave of funding, thirty applicants from 19 countries received a total of US$ 18.4 million to engage in one year-long programmes. The first wave aimed to find an additional 40,000 new cases of TB, saving 20 000 lives and preventing 400 000 new infections.
Wave-1 projects are currently implementing a variety of innovative projects. For example, in Pakistan, Indus Hospital has been successfully finding more TB cases through mobile phone-based incentives and public private partnerships. In Lesotho, the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics is using a unique combination of horseback riders and mobile phone text messaging to reach people in remote mountainous villages. In Mbeya, Tanzania, a partnership between the University of Munich and the National Institute for Medical Research has for the first time introduced GeneXpert MTB/RIF technology at rural health centres and on a mobile van.
With the approval of the Wave-2 projects, TB REACH has committed nearly US$ 50 million to 75 projects in 36 countries which aim to aim detect and treat an additional 140 000 TB cases.
To view the list of successful applicants please click here [.pdf].