16 July 2020, Geneva, Switzerland - The Stop TB Partnership’s innovative funding arm, TB REACH, announced today approval of 13 new Wave 8 projects to engage private providers in the fight against tuberculosis (TB) for a total of USD 5.7 million.
The 13 new projects feature innovative and sustainable solutions for engaging private providers in TB response, including the implementation of a new bold business model combining social health insurance for TB and aggregating reimbursements in the Philippines; the engagement of hundreds of drug vendors in Tanzania; and the use of artificial intelligence to read chest x-rays to aid private hospitals in Afghanistan to diagnose TB.
The private sector plays an essential role in how healthcare is delivered in many TB high-burden countries. Yet the engagement of private providers in the fight against TB has remained a challenge. The Wave 8, with funding support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and additional contributions from Global Affairs Canada, marks the first-ever call for proposals exclusively focused on private provider engagement, with only local organizations as lead implementers.
After launching the Wave 8 call for proposals in March, TB REACH received 191 eligible applications. Following a rigorous deliberation by the independent proposal review committee, a group of finalists was invited to pitch their projects and respond to questions during a series of virtual presentations. At the end of this process, 13 projects in 11 different countries, were selected.
TB is a forgotten respiratory disease that still kills 1.5 million people each year, more than any other infectious disease. Currently, 3 million people who develop TB annually are missed by health systems. We, in the Stop TB Partnership, believe that without the engagement of the private sector, we will never find and treat all people with TB. Wave 8 projects are one concrete step towards working together to end TB by 2030.